A tax client intake form allows a tax preparer, accountant, or bookkeeper to gather information on a prospective client before they start filing their return. This intake form asks for the client’s personal, occupational, and tax information so the preparer can decide whether they can file their tax returns.
The tax specialist is bound by professional codes of conduct, meaning they are obligated to maintain the confidentiality of their client’s information.
IRS Form 13614-C – This IRS client intake form is completed by taxpayers who are seeking free tax preparation services through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs (Apply here).
How to Make (6 parts)
Every tax preparer has their own system to take on new clients but, in general, taxpayers will need to provide them with the important information listed in this section.
In order for the preparer to file a tax return on behalf of the client, they will need the following pieces of information:
- Full name
- Home address
- Email and phone number
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number
The client is asked a series of questions through the intake form concerning their income. This will give the tax specialist an idea of how they will go about filing the client’s return, what paperwork is required, and what fees to charge. Streams of income include employment income, self-employment income, property income, investment income, Social Security income, and many others.
The client’s tax return will be different if they are responsible for other individuals, such as children, the elderly, younger brothers/sisters, and other relatives. An accountant needs to know if their client has any dependents as it usually means there will be tax deductions/credits, benefits, and other exemptions when filing the return.
Deductions are amounts of money that can be subtracted from a client’s gross income. The following list includes a number of deductions that are valid under federal and state tax codes:
- Mortgage interest
- Real estate taxes
- Vehicle taxes
- Alimony payments
- Childcare expenses (daycare)
- Contributions to retirement (IRA, 401(k), etc.)
- Charitable contributions
- Medical expenses
A tax preparer will want to know if their client filed their taxes last year at the state and federal levels. If they have an outstanding balance, the client should include this information. The form also asks the client if they have made any payments towards their tax return for the current year, as this will lower their overall balance on the return.
Once a client has completed the intake form, the preparer will look it over to get an idea of how the return will be filed. If they accept the person as a client, they will most likely ask for additional documents so they can complete the proper paperwork. The list below includes some of the essential documents needed to file a return:
- W-2 forms (employment)
- 1099 forms (various income)
- K-1 forms (partnership/corporation income)
- Proof of self-employed income (invoices, statements, etc.)
- Form 1095 (A, B, or C)
- Mortgage and property records
- Investment and retirement savings statements
- Lists/receipts for deductible expenses
- Donation records
- Estimated tax payment records
According to the IRS, “Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for all the information on their income tax return.” A client can hold their accountant or bookkeeper liable if they should file an inaccurate tax return, but if they provided incorrect information that was filed by their accountant, it’s the client’s fault.
Federal law (26 U.S. Code § 7216) requires that consent be given to a client if their information is to be used for any matter other than preparing and filing their taxes.
If a client does not consent, the provider cannot disclose the client’s return to third parties or use their information internally for marketing or other purposes.
If a client gives consent, federal law will not protect the client from sharing their tax returns with third parties or using them for marketing purposes.
Accountant Engagement Letter – After reviewing the information on the intake form, an engagement letter is commonly written to outline the scope of work for the tax preparer’s services and hourly rates.