8 Questions to Ask Your Tax Advisor

8 Questions to Ask Your Tax Advisor

8 Questions to Ask Your Tax Advisor


Tax is a financial obligation imposed by the government on individuals, businesses, and other entities to fund public expenditures and provide essential services to society. Taxes are typically collected by governments at various levels (local, regional, national) and serve as a primary source of revenue to finance public infrastructure, education, healthcare, defense, social welfare programs, and more.

There are various types of taxes, each with its own purpose and method of collection. Some common types of taxes include:

  1. Income Tax: This is a tax on an individual’s or a business’s earnings or income. It’s often collected by governments at different rates based on income levels.
  2. Sales Tax: This tax is imposed on the sale of goods and services and is usually a percentage of the transaction amount. It’s collected at the point of purchase.
  3. Property Tax: Property tax is levied on the value of real estate properties owned by individuals or businesses. The amount is typically based on the assessed value of the property.
  4. Corporate Tax: Corporations are subject to corporate income tax based on their profits. The tax rates can vary depending on the country and the level of profit.
  5. Capital Gains Tax: This tax is applied to the profits made from the sale of assets, such as stocks, real estate, or other investments.
  6. Estate Tax: Also known as inheritance tax or death tax, this tax is levied on the transfer of an individual’s assets after their death.
  7. Value-Added Tax (VAT): Common in many countries, VAT is a consumption tax levied on the value added to a product or service at each stage of production or distribution.
  8. Excise Tax: Excise taxes are often applied to specific goods like alcohol, tobacco, gasoline, and luxury items. They are designed to discourage consumption of certain products and to generate revenue.
  9. Payroll Tax: This tax is withheld from employees’ wages and is used to fund programs like Social Security and Medicare.
  10. Tariffs: Tariffs are taxes imposed on imported goods, usually to protect domestic industries and raise revenue for the government.

Tax laws and regulations can vary significantly between countries and jurisdictions. The process of taxation involves determining the taxable base (such as income or sales), calculating the tax liability based on the applicable rates, and then collecting and remitting the tax to the government.



8 Questions to Ask Your Tax Advisor

1. What Does Your Tax Preparation Process Look Like?

A general overview of what a tax preparation process might look like for individuals or businesses:

  1. Gather Financial Information: Collect all relevant financial documents, such as income statements (W-2, 1099 forms), expense receipts, investment income statements, and any other documents related to your financial activities.
  2. Organize Records: Sort and organize your financial records to ensure you have a complete picture of your financial situation.
  3. Choose Tax Filing Status: Determine your filing status (single, married filing jointly, head of household, etc.), as it will affect your tax rates and deductions.
  4. Calculate Income: Calculate your total income, including wages, self-employment income, rental income, dividends, and interest.
  5. Claim Deductions and Credits: Identify deductions (such as mortgage interest, student loan interest) and tax credits (child tax credit, earned income tax credit) that you qualify for to reduce your tax liability.
  6. Fill Out Tax Forms: Use the appropriate tax forms (such as Form 1040 for individual income tax) to report your income and deductions accurately.
  7. Compute Tax Liability: Calculate your tax liability based on the tax rates applicable to your income level.
  8. File Electronically or by Mail: Depending on your preference, you can file your taxes electronically through tax software or submit paper forms by mail.
  9. Pay Any Owed Taxes: If you owe additional taxes after accounting for withholdings, make the necessary payment by the tax deadline. Failure to pay on time may result in penalties and interest.
  10. Review and Submit: Double-check all the information on your tax return for accuracy and completeness before submitting it to the appropriate tax authority.
  11. Keep Copies of Documents: Maintain copies of all filed documents, including tax returns and supporting documentation, for your records.
  12. Respond to Notices: If you receive any notices or requests for additional information from the tax authority, respond promptly and provide the requested information.
  13. Seek Professional Help: If your tax situation is complex or if you’re unsure about certain aspects of tax preparation, consider seeking assistance from a tax professional, such as a certified public accountant (CPA) or tax advisor.

Remember that tax laws and regulations can change, so it’s important to stay informed about any updates that might impact your tax obligations. It’s also advisable to start the tax preparation process well before the deadline to avoid last-minute stress and ensure accurate filing.


2. How Can You Help Me With My Tax Goals?

3. What Information Will You Need From Me to File My Taxes?

4. What Can I Do Differently to Improve My Tax Situation?

5. Based on My Situation, What Other Things Should I Try and Do This Year?

6. Can I Call You Throughout the Year for Tax Advice?

7. How Will My Side Hustle Affect My Taxes?

8. What Other Services Do You Offer?