How can you find a trustworthy CPA?

When searching for tax compliance advice, do you know who you can trust? Recently a certified public accountant (CPA) in the state of New York was convicted for stealing more than $300,000 in tax refunds, money that should have been received by his clients. Despite being licensed by the state, there are some CPAs you cannot trust. So how do you identify a CPA who is trustworthy?

Whether you need tax advice or help in negotiating a settlement with the IRS, don’t merely think of your self as a taxpayer who needs help. Take the approach of a hiring manager who is trying to fill a key position. Hiring managers check a potential employee’s background, contact references, investigate their skills and determine if the applicant’s salary matches their budget.

You should follow these same steps when selecting a CPA. Learn how long the CPA has been licensed in your state. Ask how often they’ve worked on your particular tax issue with other clients, and follow up on their references. If they’ve worked in other states, ask them to provide contact information that will confirm the CPA once held a license to practice in that state. An honest CPA will have nothing to hide. Membership in professional organizations that emphasize ethics in CPA can also be a good indicator.

At we carefully investigate tax professionals before including them in our network. We encourage you to investigate them as well, as your tax issues deserve to be handled by reliable resources.