Pointers for Conducting an Efficient Tax Client Interview

An accurate tax return may be the primary reason your clients seek your services, but they may anticipate much more in the long run. What you do for people shouldn’t just be about the numbers; it should also have a personal impact. Being professional, friendly, and consistent in your job is essential, regardless of whether they are a new client or one with whom you have worked for years.

While it is certainly important to do anything you can to reduce your client’s tax bill, the bonds you establish with them along the way are just as important. If you follow a few simple guidelines in your professional and business interactions, you may greatly enhance the value of the connections you make.

Prior to the Tax Client Appointment

Sending a warm message reminding the client that tax season has returned and reintroducing yourself will help set the tone for a productive meeting. If you still need to settle on a specific time to meet, offer a few possibilities and let them know there’s a questionnaire they should fill out in advance. The questions should cover the fundamentals:

  • Changes in employment
  • Marital status
  • Total income
  • Updates to dependents
  • Other easy-to-answer queries

Wear a Smile

Make an effort to welcome each and every client who walks through your door with a friendly face and a polite greeting. Working on their taxes with you probably won’t be anyone’s idea of a fun night out, but a smile and an upbeat attitude will make the experience more pleasant for everyone involved.

Review Their Private Details

Even though you have most of the data you need, it is still essential to spend some time reviewing the fundamentals at the outset of your in-person meeting. Where will they be filing? How many dependents do they have, and what exemptions will they be claiming? You’ll use these pieces of data to determine their tax filing status. Now that the client is there, you can inquire about or request clarification on the following items:

  • All occupations producing taxable income
  • Any additional names
  • Contact information and emergency contacts
  • Dependents
  • Photo IDs
  • Primary and secondary addresses
  • Social Security cards
  • Their dates of birth

Ask for Proof of Income from All Sources, Not Just W-2s

There may be hidden sources of income that your client isn’t aware of that need to be reported, depending on the complexity of their finances. The client may have missed the accompanying documentation for all such sources because they didn’t realize they were going to need it right away. These five revenue streams are frequently overlooked:

  • Investments
  • Jury duty
  • Social Security
  • State refunds
  • Unemployment benefits

Make sure your client understands the urgency of obtaining the required paperwork if they do not have it at their disposal. Neither you nor your client wants to be caught in a mad dash to get everything in by the deadline during tax season, which, although not short, isn’t lengthy enough to allow for large filing delays.

List All Income Adjustments

Inquire about any and all income-related modifications your client may have. Expenses incurred by teachers, interest paid on student loans, alimony paid, and contributions to retirement accounts are all examples of deductible expenses that can be used to offset taxable income. These topics may not be the most pleasant to broach, but they must be addressed in order to file an accurate tax return.

Choose Between Standard and Itemized Deductions

After verifying the client’s income and making any necessary modifications, you can decide whether to take any deductions. Keep in mind that things like medical bills and lost wages might have an impact on someone’s Adjusted Gross Income. After totaling up the costs, you and your customer can decide which deduction will result in the greatest financial benefit.

The general guideline is that you should itemize deductions rather than take the standard deduction if the amount is higher. Most of the folks you help will have simple financial problems that don’t take much consideration on your part.


Guarantees, benefits, and extra services should all be discussed with the customer before parting ways. At the close of the meeting, you should thank the client for their time and ask if there is anything further you can do for them. Give them your word that you’ll be around to help with their tax returns again next year.

Make sure your clients know they may reach out to you with any tax-related issues or concerns they may have and that you will be in touch with them as needed during the filing process. Your clients could have chosen anyone to help them with their taxes, so it’s important to show them how much you value the fact that they’ve chosen you.

If you are looking for the best professional tax software in the market today to help you with the numbers, look no further than what we have to offer here at Keystone Tax Solutions. We have our own patented professional tax software for all tax preparers who want to make their work easier in the long run. Call us today for more information about our software and services.