Your Tax Season Checklist: 7 Questions to Ask Your Accountant
Tax season can be a stressful time for individuals and businesses alike. With constantly changing tax laws and the pressure to maximize deductions, working with an accountant who is knowledgeable and up-to-date on the latest tax codes is essential. To ensure they’re the right fit for your needs and that you’re prepared for filing, here are seven crucial questions to ask your accountant this tax season.
1. “What deductions and credits can I take advantage of?”
One of the primary reasons for hiring an accountant is to minimize your tax burden and maximize your refund. Your accountant should be well-versed in all the deductions and credits available based on your unique financial situation. Ensure they’re proactively discussing these opportunities with you, such as home office deductions, education credits, or deductions for retirement contributions.
2. “How can I better organize my financial records?”
Staying organized is crucial for a smooth tax filing process. Your accountant should be able to guide the best way to maintain your financial records throughout the year. This may include recommendations for digital record-keeping systems, expense-tracking apps, or a simple filing system to keep track of important documents like receipts and invoices.
3. “Have there been any significant changes in tax laws that affect me?”
Tax laws constantly change, and your accountant must stay up-to-date on these alterations. Ask about recent changes that may impact your tax situation, such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act or the CARES Act. Understanding how these laws affect your finances can help you plan better for the future and avoid any surprises come tax time.
4. “What is my estimated tax liability for the year?”
Knowing your estimated tax liability is crucial to avoid surprises when filing your taxes. Your accountant should be able to provide a rough estimate based on your current income, deductions, and credits. This information helps you plan for any potential tax payments or refunds and allows you to adjust your withholding or estimated tax payments accordingly.
5. “Are there any red flags in my tax situation?”
Your accountant should look for any potential issues during the filing process. This can include discrepancies in income reporting, unusually high deductions, or other factors that may trigger an audit. By identifying these red flags early, you can work together to address and resolve any issues before filing your taxes.
6. “How can I reduce my tax liability for next year?”
A proactive accountant will not only help you prepare for this year’s tax season but also help you plan for the future. Ask about strategies to reduce your tax liability for the following year, such as adjusting your withholding, increasing retirement contributions, or taking advantage of tax-advantaged accounts like Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).
7. “How can I stay in touch and receive yearly updates?”
A good accountant should be more than just a tax preparer; they should be a trusted financial advisor who is available to answer questions and provide guidance throughout the year – not just during tax season. Inquire about their communication preferences and how they plan to keep you updated on any changes in tax laws or other relevant financial news.
By asking these seven questions, you’ll better understand your accountant’s expertise and how they can help you navigate the complexities of tax season. Remember, a good accountant should proactively identify opportunities for deductions and credits, stay up-to-date on tax laws, and provide guidance on financial planning. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure you’re working with someone who has your best interests in mind.
If you’re looking for an accountant in Framingham, let Ash CPA take charge. We’re committed to delivering high-quality services at an affordable cost, so you can rest easy knowing your finances are in good hands. Contact us today!