Whether you support clients as an accountant, tax consultant, or tax advisor, making sure your clients comply with their country and jurisdiction’s tax laws when filing their income tax is a top priority.
In this post, we’ll share some types of questions to ask clients in a tax compliance questionnaire. We’ll also link you to our template with all these questions and many more included to help you speed up the process of collecting this information.
What is a tax compliance questionnaire used for?
A tax compliance questionnaire (or tax compliance survey) is a tool you can use to understand your client’s financial situation and flag any tax-related issues that might require further investigation.
A tax compliance questionnaire can also be a good tool for identifying whether your clients need further support with tax preparation (a great upsell opportunity!)
What questions should I ask clients in a tax compliance questionnaire?
These questions help you get a snapshot of your client’s profile and help you identify which jurisdiction’s tax laws they need to comply with when filing income tax.
1. Full legal name
2. Social Security number or Tax Identification Number
4. Date of birth
5. Marital status
6. Current year income
7. Previous year income
8. Location (city, province, country)
Previous tax issues
These questions help you identify if your client has ever experienced any significant issues with the law when it comes to filing their taxes.
1. Have you ever had any issues filing taxes in the past? If so, please specify
2. Have you ever been audited for a tax return? If so, please provide details
3. Have you ever received any warnings or notices of non-compliance with tax laws in the past? If so, please provide details
4. Do you have any other tax-related disputes to disclose? If so, please provide details
Financial literacy / self-evaluation questions
These questions will help you get a sense of how confident your client is with filing their taxes and whether they might struggle with understanding what is needed from them.
1. Please rank these statements from 1 to 5, 5 being the most true, and 1 being the least true:
- To my knowledge, I have been paying my taxes correctly
- I have been paying my taxes on time
- I worry that I may have over-estimated or underestimated the amounts on my tax forms
- I have missed tax deadlines before
- I can confidently affirm that I have complied with tax laws, submitting accurate and complete information
2. On a scale from 1 to 5, how would you consider your level of financial literacy?
3. On a scale from 1 to 5, how well would you say you understand tax language and terms?
4. Who calculates the amounts in your tax return?
5. Who reviews your calculations, if anyone?
Potential tax compliance obstacles
These questions will help you identify if any situations might be affecting your client’s ability to file their income tax accurately and on time.
1. Have you experienced any significant life events that may impact the preparation of your taxes?
- Birth of a child
- The move of a home
- Loss of a family member
- Change of career
- Significant illnesses
2. Have any of the following situations impacted your ability to file accurate taxes on time?
- No access to resources, support, or assistance in filing
- Lack of awareness of tax deadlines
- Limited funds to pay for tax filing services
- Limited financial literacy/tax knowledge
Interest in additional tax services
These questions will help you understand if your client is open to receiving more support through your tax consulting services and help you figure out what might encourage them to use more.
1. Would you be interested in exploring any of the following tax services to minimize tax liability?
- Tax planning
- Tax consulting
- Tax filing
- Tax review
2. If you have expressed your interest in any of the above services, what if anything prevents you from using them?
- Lack of funds to spend on services
- Not sure how they work
- Not sure how beneficial they will be to me
These questions are intended to assess the extent of your client’s compliance with tax regulations and determine if they would benefit from additional tax consulting services in managing their taxes. We hope they’ve been of help!
Just want to speed up the process altogether? To access all of these questions and more in a ready template you can send to your clients easily, get our free tax compliance questionnaire template below.