If you're an independent tax preparer, you're probably looking for a more effective approach to get all the data you require from potential (and current) clients while spending the least amount of time in the office. There are so many documents and information you must gather on a yearly basis that it's easy for you to overlook some of the basic but crucial elements when meeting new clients.
Luckily, a well-designed tax intake form can help you quickly gather and organize your client's data which can also help you increase your customer satisfaction rates and provide an overall seamless onboarding experience. To help you draft your own tax preparation client intake form, we will go over some of the main aspects you must cover so you can always keep the vital information at hand.
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Essential Elements to Cover in Your Tax Intake Form
Depending on your business and its offers, the particular questions you ask on your tax preparation questionnaire may change. However, there are several essential elements you must have in order to give your customers the best possible services. Here are the key points to use as a guideline for your intake form.
The first section of your tax preparation client intake form should help you gather the potential client's personal information including their spouse and dependents. Make sure to request the client's and their spouse's full name, Social Security number, date of birth, occupation, employment status, email address, physical address, and filing status (single, married filing jointly or separately, head of household or widow).
Also, find out about their dependents' full names, social security numbers, dates of birth, relationships to the taxpayer, and how long they have been living together.
If your new client is a business owner, you might want to gather additional information including the start date of their organization, the previous year's corporate tax return, partnership agreements, and EIN (Employer Identification Number). You can also ask them about their operations and any possible company expenses (home office, vehicle use, etc...) they can write off on their tax return.
Income and Expenses
It's crucial to learn more about the client's sources of income, expenses, and any applicable charitable contributions. Ask if the client got any money from work as an employee or an independent contractor, unemployment or social security benefits, any interest income from a savings account, or if their employer withheld any federal income tax. Additionally, you can learn about investments, gambling losses/winnings, as well as the buying and selling of digital currencies.
You must also request a basic list of the tax-deductible expenses for the current fiscal year including Medical costs, insurance premiums, monetary donations, prescription drug costs, home mortgage payments, and unreimbursed company costs.
Your intake form must also include inquiries to gather fundamental data regarding the retirement plan of the potential client and their spouse. It's crucial to find out if they contributed to any retirement plan, such as an IRA or 401(k), and if they received any distributions or payments from it. Ask if they received the 2020 COVID allocation, whether it was deferred over a 3-year period, and whether any of that money has been returned.
To gather as much tax information as you can, make sure to also inquire about any contributions, loans, or expenses related to education. These may include student loan payments, scholarships, grants, payouts from an education savings plan (or other comparable plans), as well as any contributions made to such plans. Additionally, include tuition fees, or books needed to attend a university, college, or vocational school.
Create the Perfect Client Intake Form With Bonsai
Bonsai's lightweight client form builder is the best way to create the perfect tax preparation client intake form. You can fully customize every aspect of our forms to add your own branding elements, adjust fields to your liking, and add as many questions as you need with your preferred answer format.
Create a tax client intake form template and have it embedded into your business website to help you collect more leads, or send personalized online forms directly to your clients via email or URL link. This is the simplest approach to incorporate online surveys into your onboarding procedure, boost customer satisfaction, and create a positive first impression.
Start your 14-day free trial today to check out these and many more administrative tools that Bonsai has to offer!