4 Questions to Ask Your Accountant Before You File Your Taxes

You don’t know what you don’t know, so get the most out of tax time by asking the right questions. The answers could help you save this year and in the future.

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Your accountant can be one of the most critical members of your financial team. The main reason is obvious: No matter who you are, how much money you have or what goals you hope to accomplish, everyone pays taxes.

At a minimum, a CPA can ensure you file your taxes the right way every year so you avoid penalties and fines. But a good CPA should also be able to help you minimize what you owe, take advantage of opportunities to claim credits you’re entitled to, and even help evaluate how the other professionals on your financial team are performing.

But even the best accountant can’t read your mind — which is why to fully utilize how much they can help, you need to know the right areas in which to request their help.

When you send in your tax packet to your accountant this year, make sure to ask these questions to get the most value from your relationship.

Written by Paul V. Sydlansky, founder of Lake Road Advisors (opens in new tab). He has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years. Paul is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the XY Planning Network (XYPN). In 2018 he was named to Investopedia's Top 100 Financial Advisors (opens in new tab) list.

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

Paul V. Sydlansky, CFP
Founder, Lake Road Advisors, LLC

Paul Sydlansky, founder of Lake Road Advisors LLC (opens in new tab), has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years. Prior to founding Lake Road Advisors, Paul worked as relationship manager for a Registered Investment Adviser. Previously, Paul worked at Morgan Stanley in New York City for 13 years. Paul is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the XY Planning Network (XYPN). In 2018 he was named to Investopedia's Top 100 Financial Advisors (opens in new tab) list.