When you have a tax question, it’s frustrating to play hide-and-seek with your CPA. Especially when you’ve got a question with a deadline. You want a trusted tax advisor who’s available when you need it— not a full voicemail box! 

If you’re wondering why you can’t reach your CPA, we’ve got three reasons they may be missing your call— and what to do when you need a reliable tax advisor’s help now.

1. Why do CPAs “go dark”?

Because the tax advisor model itself is based on the quantity of work they do, more than the quality

There’s a whole industry of professionals, including unlicensed accountants, certified public accountants, enrolled agents, and tax advisors, who are mainly compensated based on how much compliance work they do. Their job and how they make money is largely based on the number of compliance cases they can work. That’s why these professionals often manage 500+ clients.

Unfortunately, that means the average CPA, accountant, or tax advisor is incredibly busy! They take on an unbelievable number of clients and at some point, it just becomes unmanageable. And they become overwhelmed, exhausted, and burned out.

Sometimes your accountant will tell you they’re too busy to continue working with you. But I’ve heard many stories from our Cook Wealth clients about CPAs and tax preparation professionals who just disappeared. No call, no show.

2. And those busy tax professionals are just going to get busier

The accounting industry as a whole has begun to age. Many tax advisors are nearing retirement, and there aren’t enough young, new accounting professionals to backfill the gaps. That means the few CPAs who are left are becoming increasingly busy.

Nationwide, there just aren’t enough skilled advisors available to handle the massive need for tax preparation. They’re often too busy to take on even a simple tax return without pushing some projects to the side. Complicated tax situations quickly become the bottom priority.

Even if you find a tax professional to take on your returns, they certainly aren’t communicating with you on a regular basis. They may help you at filing time, but they’re not tax advisors. They don’t have the availability to proactively look forward, consider your situation, and seek out opportunities to save you more on your next tax return. They help with remaining compliant, but that’s the extent.

3. COVID made life even more complicated for CPAs, accountants, and tax advisors

I mentioned that most tax preparers are already overworked in a normal year. Well, the past two years have taken their workload to a whole new level.

Many of the pandemic relief programs released over the past two years were set up around taxes and accounting tasks. The Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan, the Employee Retention Credit, and other tax credits… These programs all increased the burden for tax professionals everywhere.

And what happens when you take an overworked, understaffed industry and give them more work to turn into the internal revenue service— another understaffed, overworked industry? You get a ton of delays! Even the best tax pros in the industry struggle to keep up with their clients’ needs.

These factors create the perfect storm of frustration and delays

It’s frustrating when you call your CPA and either can’t get ahold of them, or don’t find the answer you need. You’re paying for the services, so it seems like they should take care of you, right?

But the reality is, your tax preparer isn’t properly equipped to be your tax advisor. They know federal tax codes inside and out, but they’re not equipped to advise your financial plan. The average tax professional is in an impossible spot— overburdened, ill-equipped, and in desperate need of a vacation! The need is nearly insurmountable, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to give every client the attention they need.

If your CPA won’t answer, where can you find a new tax advisor—

one who will pick up the phone?

For many people, talking to their tax preparer once a year is fine. Their taxes are straightforward, and they may not be maximizing every single tax benefit, but they’re getting a decent tax refund and doing fine.

But for business owners, entrepreneurs, individuals with estates, inheritors, or anyone with a more complex tax situation, it’s crucial to have a tax consultant on speed dial. When you face complicated financial situations, you need a tax expert you can rely on to be available and helpful in the moment, so you can make the best choices in every unique situation.

As your situation changes, so should your tax advisor. Here’s why the tax team at Cook Wealth is different:

1. At Cook Wealth, our tax advisors are compensated for quality— not quantity

It’s an entirely different model of compensation, designed to put our clients’ needs first. Our certified public accountants and tax advisors have the bandwidth to meet client needs at tax time, and to offer extra tax help the other 11 months a year.

2. When you work with a Cook Wealth Tax Advisor, we don’t wait for your call.

We proactively check in, looking for ways to maximize your opportunities

This is particularly beneficial for our clients who are self-employed, own a business, or have more complicated financial situations. Your Cook Wealth tax advisor can guide you through tax prep— securing every credit possible, and ensuring you remain compliant. Then, your Financial Advisor is available to talk big picture and long-term goals. They’ll help you invest your earnings in the smartest way.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, your dual CPA and financial advising team talks about opportunities to maximize your financial plan. We consider the ways your taxes, investments, and activities work together to form the full picture, then we recommend ways to make the most of every benefit.

A full advisory team is just one of the many included services Cook Wealth clients enjoy. Check out a full list of our services here

3. That team-centric approach allows us to provide even greater, comprehensive service to every single client

When you engage Cook Wealth for your planning and financial needs, you don’t just get one tax advisor. We provide a team of knowledgeable professionals with targeted expertise. This ensures you get the most accurate, up-to-date information about tax law, IRS changes, and potential credits.

Even if your key advisor is out of the office for the day, you get the answers you need right away because you’ve got a whole team who knows your situation in and out. You’re never ignored at Cook Wealth, because you’ve got a full team on your side.

Have more questions for the tax advisors here at Cook Wealth? Grab a spot on our calendar. We look forward to connecting with you!