Have you found yourself wondering how to file taxes as a travel nurse? Our suggestion: Hire a professional tax attorney, ideally one that specialized in travel nursing. Your job is stressful enough, let someone else worry about your taxes.
Here are our best tips & tricks to find the best travel nurse tax attorney:
Is your travel nurse tax professional qualified?
Tip number one seems fairly obvious, but cannot be overstated. When you’re looking for a certified tax professional, you’ll want to make sure they’re (of course) qualified. That means having one of two qualifications:
- They’re an “Enrolled Agent.” An Enrolled Agent is someone who not only does tax preparation and gives tax advice, but is also licensed by the IRS to support you in the event you get audited.
- They’re a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). A CPA will not only be able to prepare your taxes, but will act as your financial tax planner to help you prepare and plan for future taxes. Services they offer include bookkeeping, long-term financial planning and tax strategies.
Is your travel nurse tax professional available?
The last thing you want is a tax professional that ghosts you once your taxes are done. Once you get into it and really start to take a good hard look at your finances & tax situation, you’re going to have questions. Especially as a travel nurse who lives in different states, works more hours, or less hours – you’ll want to be able to check-in with your tax professional with questions as they pop up throughout the year. It’s important to work with a tax professional who will be there for you, whether or not it’s tax season, who can promptly and accurately answer your questions.
Is your travel nurse tax professional personable?
Like any relationship – you want to find a tax professional that “gets you” and really takes the time to understand your needs. Never work with anyone that doesn’t provide a free consultation. And in that consultation pay close attention to the questions they ask you. Did they ask about you? Your family? Your financial goals? If they just throw a bunch of forms at you and call it a day: run.
A great tax professional will not only help you with your taxes but will also ask you the questions you didn’t even think to ask. How can you adjust your paycheck withholdings so you’ll owe as little as possible come next tax season? What are the pros and cons of making your nursing side hustle a bit more full-time? Would you be better off setting yourself up as an LLC or an S-Corp? These are all questions that someone who has taken the time to get to know you and what your goals are will ask.
Does your travel nurse tax professional have time?
Just like you may know exactly what CAB, CBR, or WNL mean and will take the time to explain them to a first year nurse – a tax professional will also take the time to give you a “Taxes 101” course to help you understand terms like deduction, itemizing and adjusted gross income. No matter how basic your questions might seem – a true tax professional will always take the time to explain things in a clear and simple way. If they don’t – move on – and find someone who will.
Is your travel nurse tax professional proactive?
When your taxes are finalized, you’ll want to have someone in your corner that will explain exactly what happened (and why) line by line. If you got a huge deduction or owed a ton: they should explain why and walk you through the steps for what you can do in the coming tax year to avoid pitfalls and maximize your return in the following years.
Is your travel nurse tax professional established?
Ideally you’ll work with someone that has an established business and will be around to help you with your taxes year after year. This way you won’t have to start over with a brand new person the following year – and have to explain everything all over again. This will also instill a sense of trust: knowing they’ve been in business for a while and really understand you and your needs. You don’t want to share your personal financial information with just anyone! If you can find a reference from a fellow RN: even better!
Not sure where to find a reference? Do a search for ‘taxes’ in any of the online travel nurse groups! A few we can recommend are here, here and here.
How do you prepare to meet with your tax attorney?
Once you’ve found a tax professional who you think might be a good fit for you, they should be able to tell you exactly what they need you to prepare for them so they can file your taxes. However, if you want to get a head start, we’ve compiled some tips on how to get the highest return that we think might be helpful.
Editor’s Note: We (Next Move) are not tax professionals. Please consult with a professional tax accountant to discuss your individual tax needs.