What Questions Should I Ask My Accountant About Taxes?

Although you may have many questions to ask during tax season, there are several questions you should ask your accountant about taxes during both initial and subsequent meetings.  Begin by asking your accountant questions about your current tax situation, then move on to money-saving strategies for the next tax year. If you don't know a lot about taxes, don't be afraid to ask your account to explain his answers in greater detail or to provide you written information that you can read on your own time.

  1. What deductions can I take? One of the first questions you should ask your accountant about taxes is what expenses you are allowed to deduct. Deductions can save you money, particularly if you are a homeowner, student, or are self-employed.
  2. What documentation do I need? To prepare your income tax return, your accountant may need copies of your previous year's income tax returns and receipts verifying your expenses. Without these documents, you may be in for an IRS audit, so ask these tax questions of your accountant from the start.  
  3. What should I do if I can't afford this year's tax bill? Once your tax preparer presents you with a copy of your income tax return and determines that you owe taxes, ask your accountant about your options. Your accountant may be able to help you set up a monthly repayment plan with the IRS.
  4. How can I lower my tax burden for next year? When you talk to your accountant about taxes, ask her if there's anything you can do throughout the year to ensure that you maximize your deductions and pay an appropriate amount of taxes. 
  5. Can you review last year's tax return? After you've asked your accountant about taxes for the current year, consider talking to him about your previous year's return. Many accountants are willing to review old tax returns, particularly those that were self-prepared, to ensure that you did not overpay. 

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Questions to ask your CPA

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