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Tax accountant interview questions...

tax accountant interview questionsWhat are good questions to ask a tax accountant when interviewing them?  What are the best ways to determine if they are right for the job?


Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

Are you inquiring about an internal Tax Accountant or finding a good CPA firm?

Gary Eldsman
Title: CFO
Company: Private
(CFO, Private) |

Thanks for the response Christie! I was referring to an internal Tax Accountant...

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

Gary - I was originally hired to be a Corporate Tax Accountant, but my roles were expanded and the "Tax" was dropped from my title. Below are some questions I would consider key:

1. What is your knowledge of various sales/use tax laws?

2. Do you have any experience contacting Department of Revenues/Taxations (DOR) to resolve discrepancies between the Department and the company?

3. Have you registered a business with a DOR?

4. Can you reconcile a Federal Tax Return? (Test this by giving them a sample return where the individual would need to identify if an M-1 is correct by balancing to a sample balance sheet and income statement, among other items)

5. How familiar are you with researching tax related questions? (We had a segment that sold construction materials, I had to research when shipping was charged, and when it did not have to be charged, this can make a big difference if $100k+ shipment is being made.)

6. Have you ever filed a 1096, 1099?

7. What is a B-Notice? Who should receive a B-Notice?

Will this person also need to be familiar with filing Corporate Reports for states which your company is considered a foreign-entity? This has been something that was added to my responsibilities about six-months ago.

I will contemplate a little more. I hope the above questions help.

Topic Expert
Malak Kazan
Title: VP, Special Projects
Company: ERI Economic Research Institute
(VP, Special Projects, ERI Economic Research Institute) |

I would add some questions regarding setting up or understanding different business unit / corporate entity structures that may be more tax effective than others and why.

William Robertson
Title: Founder
Company: WLMR5 LLC
(Founder, WLMR5 LLC) |

I think it kind of depends to some degree on if one is hiring staff or a vendor.

In any case, all good questions above. Additionally, I would suggest:

Have you ever represented your employer or client at an audit. What was your strategy and how did it turn out?

Describe an experience where you saved your client/employer time and/or money.

What is the most controversial tax advice you’ve given?

What do you like most about being a tax accountant?

What do you like least about being a tax accountant?

What tax strategies have you employed to great effect?

What tax strategies are you maybe less familiar with or would like to know more

If you were asked to do something unethical associated with a tax filing, what would you do?

How do you stay informed as to regulatory changes?

I’m sure there are many more possible questions. Maybe this is of some use to you.


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