If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it taught us that not all appointments need to be conducted in person. This year, if you’ve decided to opt for a virtual tax appointment, you’re not alone. Although exact statistics regarding the number of people who’ll opt for virtual versus in-person appointments this year is not available, that number is believed to be as high, if not higher, than it has been in previous years.
If you’re leaning toward working with your CPA remotely, below are just a few of the things you’ll want to keep in mind.
Yes, you’ll still get a full consultation
The primary difference between an in-person appointment and a virtual appointment is where you will be located during the process. If you opt to meet with your CPA virtually, you’ll still get a full consultation. Not only will you have ample time to ask lots of questions, but you can also discuss your goals, your current tax situation, and changes (that could impact your tax liability) that may be on deck in the future. Once your consultation is complete, your CPA will explain the best way for you to send your files and documents.
Secure online portals
If you’re submitting files and documents online, you’ll want to exercise caution. Remember, income statements, 1099, and W2 forms contain sensitive personal financial information, and you’ll want to make sure your data remains secure.
Some CPA firms have established secure online portals that allow them to share and receive sensitive information with their clients. And while web-portals are quite secure, it’s not advised to scan/email these documents to your certified public accountant. This is especially true if your documents include information such as bank account numbers, your social security number, your driver’s license number, your DOB, and your address, among others. If you have questions about the best way to share your data with your CPA, be sure to address that during your consultation.
Once your data has been received and your tax return has been prepared, your CPA will schedule a final review. During the review, they’ll help you understand what’s changed since last year, whether you owe taxes, or whether you can expect to receive a refund. Once your return is approved, they’ll file it electronically with the IRS
For more information about how virtual tax appointments work, we can help. Call our office today to get started.