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Professional athletes face unique financial challenges and deserve to have strong business advisors. You should consider these important traits in assembling your tax and financial advisory team.

Experience and Qualifications. The more the better. Seasoned tax and financial advisors are better equipped to help you navigate your personal finances. Your advisor’s educational background, credentials, and licenses tell you a lot about the expertise available to you. Look for CFP®, CPA, PFS, CFA, CLU, AIF®, and NFLPA Registered Player Financial Advisor certifications.

Professional Athlete Acumen. Many good financial advisors are available; however, finding good tax and financial advisors who specialize in dealing with professional athletes is tougher. You want someone who can give you personalized attention and who can share with you the best practices of other pro athletes.

For example, with regards to taxes, you want to make sure you are paying the lowest, legal amount of tax available to you. Professional athletes are allotted special tax deductions based on the profession of being an athlete. You should retain a Certified Public Accountant who is experienced and knows the deductions available to you to take full advantage of them. Pros should only work with Pros.

Trust and Integrity. You want someone you think you can get along with for a long time, well beyond your playing career. In addition, you want transparency. The various members of your team should be in contact with each another on a regular basis and inform each other of upcoming changes. The more each is aware of your pending financial and business decisions, the better advice you get.

Dr. John Karaffa is the President and Founder of ProSport CPA, a boutique firm that provides expert tax, accounting, and financial education services exclusively to professional athletes. For more information or to speak with a tax professional for professional athletes, please contact Dr. Karaffa at (804) 363-9684 or JKaraffa@ProSportCPA.com, or visit www.ProSportCPA.com.

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