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Tax Preparer Interview Questions

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  1. What credentials do you have that qualify you as a tax preparer? See answer
  2. Why do you believe it is vital for consumers and businesses to maintain tax records for at least the last 10 years? See answer
  3. How would you assist a client who has overdue tax payments? See answer
  4. Do you recommend that all married couples file their income tax returns together and why? See answer
  5. We want to increase our client base. What would your strategy be to do so? See answer
  6. What tax deduction would you recommend for a small business owner?
  7. Does the filing status have an impact on potential tax refunds? Please explain your answer.
  8. Why is it important to analyze customer data before recommending tax deductions?
  9. How do you build confidence in a new client?
  10. How do you ensure you have up-to-date knowledge on tax regulations?
  11. To increase the tax refund effectively, name three key areas of customer data you need to know about.
  12. You’ve made a mistake in the calculation of liabilities for an important client. How do you handle it?
  13. Describe your approach to filing tax returns accurately.
  14. Tell me about your research experience in analyzing customer data.
  15. Maintaining our reputation for accurate tax assistance is important to us. What is your strategy for maintaining and improving your accuracy?
  16. As a tax preparer, how do you manage your time?
  17. Describe a recent project in which you added value in your role as a tax preparer.
  18. Tell me about a personal trait that increases your efficiency.
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6 Tax Preparer Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What credentials do you have that qualify you as a tax preparer?

A:

Someone who has experience preparing taxes provides your company with a great asset. They have completed the state’s minimum requirements for the position and are familiar with tax laws. You want a candidate who is interested in continuing their education and who stays abreast of the latest tax regulations and codes. They may have completed formal training through a community college or other local program. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience preparing tax returns for consumers and businesses
  • At least a high school diploma
  • Ability to meet the state’s certification or licensing requirements

Example:

“I have five years of experience preparing seasonal taxes, and I completed the H and R Block training program. I have also completed and passed the ACAT exam.”

Q:

What tax deductions would you recommend for a small business owner?

A:

Someone who has prepared tax returns for a more modest company will assess how the owner uses their profits and operates their business. They know what deductions are legal to maximize the client’s refund. You want a candidate who researches expenses and helps taxpayers use all options available to them in order to reduce their tax implications. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience identifying deductions for taxpayers
  • Understanding of how home-based or sole proprietor businesses operate
  • Familiarity with all applicable tax codes

Example:

“For LLCs and sole proprietors, I’d evaluate their company expenses and what they need to operate their business. My recommendations include deducting a portion of their utility costs, rent or mortgage payments and any supplies they buy frequently for their office.”

Q:

Why do you believe it is vital for consumers and businesses to maintain tax records for at least the last 10 years?

A:

Someone who has completed tax assessments and managed investigations knows where to find problems. They research tax records to find discrepancies that lead to charges of tax evasion and unethical practices of previous CPAs or preparation services. You want a preparer who is familiar with codes and laws that could work against your company. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience participating in a tax audit
  • Ability to research tax trends that maximize tax refunds
  • Advice to help taxpayers prepare for the following tax year

Example:

“I recommend that they maintain all tax records for at least the last decade to identify potential issues with the IRS. The records help taxpayers create a better plan for the future if they want to pay tax implications earlier or create savings plans.”

Q:

How would you assist a client who has overdue tax payments?

A:

Someone who has years of experience managing tax returns has set up payment arrangements for clients previously. They identify the best ways to settle a debt and prevent more serious repercussions for your business. You want a candidate who takes a more proactive approach when you owe money to the IRS. Someone who anticipates future tax implications and sets up a plan to prevent penalties will benefit your organization. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience setting up installment plans and settlements
  • Understanding of the legal ramifications of tax liens
  • Desire to help clients avoid additional costs

Example:

“First, I would determine why the payments were sent and how the late the payments are. Next, I would contact the IRS and identify what options are available to the taxpayer.”

Q:

Do you recommend that all married couples file their income tax returns together and why?

A:

Someone who knows how to maximize tax refunds knows that the filing status determines if the taxpayer qualifies for earned income credit and additional deductions. They review options for clients that reduce tax payments and allow the filer to decrease their gross adjusted income if possible. Look for a tax preparer candidate who understands the nuances of tax law and knows that no tax approach is one-size-fits-all. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience filing different types of tax returns
  • Ability to identify the best solution for all clients
  • Committment to ensure that all tax laws are followed

Example:

“No, couples aren’t required to file their tax returns together, but they are required to list their spouse on their return. Some circumstances permit married couples to file separately and increase their earned income credit values.”

Q:

We want to increase our client base. What would your strategy be to do so?

A:

A tax preparer can significantly contribute to building a company's client base. This question can be used to evaluate a candidate's knowledge of customer expectations for this position . An ideal tax preparer candidate can clearly articulate a viable strategy for bringing more customers into the firm.

A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Strategy, communication and leadership skills
  • Ability to address customer expectations via strategy
  • Evidence of suitability for a long-term position

An example answer to this question could look like this:

Example:

"I would start by tracking the firm's achievements in response times, savings enabled through tax breaks, compliance with legislation and customer satisfaction scores. Next, I would develop an innovative advertising campaign with marketing professionals based on these achievements to target potential customers. I would also offer incentives to existing customers who bring new clients to the firm, such as discounts on tax preparation services."

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