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Important Questions to ask during a Tax Consultation

Here’s the simple but bitter truth: when it comes down to the business of choosing a tax preparer, there is no one size fits all approach. One effective way of sifting the grain from the chaff, however, is by asking a lot of questions during your initial tax consultation.

Asking your potential tax preparer a few specific questions regarding their services, taxes, and the entire taxation process is sure to help you gain a clearer insight into the nature of the firm and how their service works. This in turn will help you gain a clearer insight about whether or not the tax consulting firm in question is the right fit for you.

Without further ado, we are challenging you to put us to the test. Here is a list of six important questions you should remember to ask your prospective tax consultant during your first consultation.

What questions should you ask for Tax Consultation?

  1. Do you have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)?

This question should take center stage because any individual or firm that specializes in tax consultancy should have one. A Preparer Tax Identification Number is a mandatory identifier of a tax preparer, and if your prospective tax consultant doesn’t have one, then they should not be handling your taxes.


  1. What documents and records would you need me to provide?

Good examples of the documents that any good tax consultant will need to assess your tax situation include your W-2, 1099, and 1098 forms, alongside other documents that verify your income and expenses. Any good tax consultant should know this.

Additionally, a good tax consultant should be able to tell you what he needs each document for and follow due processes to avoid cutting corners.


  1. Whose signature will be on my Tax Return?

If your tax return is prepared by a tax consultant, then they are required to provide their PTIN and signature at the bottom of the document. If your tax consultant refuses to sign your return or asks you to sign it yourself (to make it seem like it was prepared by you) then that may be an indicator that they do not have a Preparer Tax Identification Number.


  1. What does your Tax preparation process entail?

By asking this question, you get on the same page with your potential tax consultant about their processes and your expectations. Ask about how their consultations are carried out, what options they may be able to negotiate on your behalf, and what documents you will need to provide them in order to get the process started.


  1. Can you help me achieve my goals?

What are your tax goals? Is it to get on a workable payment agreement with the IRS, to get a tax lien or wage garnishment removed or even simply to file your tax returns correctly? Whatever your tax goals may be, it is important to work with a consultant who understands them and is willing to work with you to ensure that you achieve them.


  1. How can we work together to improve my tax situation?

A good tax consultant must be willing to not only provide you with workable solutions to resolve the tax issue on ground, but should also be able to advise you on the best practices to adopt to avoid a repeat of such unpleasant circumstances. A good tax professional should be able to suggest making some tweaks in certain areas of your financial life that can improve your standing with the IRS and give valuable advice about important topics such as property taxes and the tax implications certain financial decisions may have on your finances.


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Internet subscribers, users, and online readers are advised not to act upon this information without seeking the service of a professional accountant. Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this website is not intended to be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties, of any kind, under U.S. federal tax laws.