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Tax Accountant interview questions and answers

Use these sample Tax Accountant interview questions as part of your hiring process to assess candidates’ financial and accounting skills.

Christina Pavlou
Christina Pavlou

An experienced recruiter and HR professional who has transferred her expertise to insightful content to support others in HR.

Tax Accountant interview questions

10 good tax accountant interview questions

  1. What would you do if you received a B-Notice on behalf of your client?
  2. What information would you use to create a forecasting report for next year’s tax returns?
  3. You thought the deadline for tax payment submission was in a month, but it’s actually in a week. How would you handle this?
  4. How would you inform your manager that your company needs to pay a fine because you weren’t aware of a regulatory change?
  5. What accounting software are you familiar with?
  6. What monthly and annual reports do you create?
  7. What information do you need to submit a 1096? What’s different when you e-file a 1099?
  8. What is an IRS Backup Withholding Notice?
  9. Describe a time you saved your client/employer money.
  10. Have you ever faced an ethical dilemma at work? If so, how did you manage it?

Here are 10 essential interview questions and sample answers to help identify the best candidates for this role.

1. What would you do if you received a B-Notice on behalf of your client?

This question assesses the candidate’s knowledge of IRS notices and their problem-solving skills.

Sample answer:

“First, I would review the B-Notice to understand the issue. Then, I would contact the client to gather any missing information and respond to the IRS within the stipulated timeframe.”

2. What information would you use to create a forecasting report for next year’s tax returns?

This question evaluates the candidate’s understanding of tax planning and forecasting.

Sample answer:

“I would use historical tax data, current financial statements, and any upcoming changes in tax laws to create an accurate forecasting report.”

3. You thought the deadline for tax payment submission was in a month, but it’s actually in a week. How would you handle this?

This question tests the candidate’s ability to handle stressful situations and tight deadlines.

Sample answer:

“I would immediately prioritize the task, inform the client, and work diligently to meet the new deadline without compromising accuracy.”

4. How would you inform your manager that your company needs to pay a fine because you weren’t aware of a regulatory change?

This question gauges the candidate’s communication skills and accountability.

Sample answer:

“I would schedule a meeting with my manager to discuss the issue openly, take responsibility, and outline steps to prevent such errors in the future.”

5. What accounting software are you familiar with?

This question assesses the candidate’s technical skills and familiarity with accounting tools.

Sample answer:

“I am proficient in QuickBooks, TurboTax, and Microsoft Excel for various accounting and tax preparation tasks.”

6. What monthly and annual reports do you create?

This question evaluates the candidate’s experience with financial reporting.

Sample answer:

“I regularly prepare monthly cash flow statements, quarterly tax estimates, and annual income tax returns.”

7. What information do you need to submit a 1096? What’s different when you e-file a 1099?

This question tests the candidate’s knowledge of tax forms and e-filing procedures.

Sample answer:

“For a 1096, you need the total amount paid and withheld for the year. E-filing a 1099 requires the same information but is submitted electronically, often with different software.”

8. What is an IRS Backup Withholding Notice?

This question assesses the candidate’s understanding of specific IRS notices and their implications.

Sample answer:

“An IRS Backup Withholding Notice indicates that the taxpayer identification number might be incorrect, and backup withholding will start if the issue isn’t resolved.”

9. Describe a time you saved your client/employer money.

This question evaluates the candidate’s ability to provide value through tax planning and strategy.

Sample answer:

“I identified overlooked tax deductions for a client, which resulted in a 20% reduction in their tax liability.”

10. Have you ever faced an ethical dilemma at work? If so, how did you manage it?

This question gauges the candidate’s ethical standards and problem-solving skills.

Sample answer:

“I once discovered a colleague was inflating expenses. I reported it to management, as maintaining ethical standards is crucial in accounting.”

What does a good tax accountant candidate look like?

A strong tax accountant candidate will have a solid understanding of tax laws, excellent analytical skills, and a high level of integrity. They should also be proficient in accounting software and have good communication skills.



Tax Accountant Interview Questions

Tax Accountants coordinate the payment of obligations and tax returns on an accurate and timely basis. They also keep records of financial data and forecast tax obligations.

When hiring for this role, look for candidates with bookkeeping experience along with an Accounting degree. Although not required, additional certification, like a CMA or CPA, is a plus. They’re indicators of professionals who are genuinely interested in their industry. Individuals who attend conferences and seminars, follow accounting forums and stay up-to-date on world and economic news are committed to the field.

During your interviews, test how your candidates approach regular tasks: Are they methodical? Do they keep organized records? How do they check their work for accuracy? Opt for people who pay attention to details and meet deadlines. Your ideal candidates will not only “get the job done” but also identify tax-saving opportunities.

Let’s summarize some of the questions and add a few more divided into specific types.

Operational and Situational questions

  • What would you do if you received a B-Notice on behalf of your client?
  • What information would you use to create a forecasting report for next year’s tax returns?
  • You thought the deadline for tax payment submission was in a month, but it’s actually in a week. How would you handle this?
  • How would you inform your manager that your company needs to pay a fine because you weren’t aware of a regulatory change?

Role-specific questions

  • What accounting software are you familiar with?
  • What monthly and annual reports do you create?
  • What information do you need to submit a 1096? What’s different when you e-file a 1099?
  • What is an IRS Backup Withholding Notice?
  • How do you avoid numerical errors in your reports?

Behavioral questions

  • What attracted you to tax accounting versus other fields, like forensic or auditing?
  • How do you stay on top of regulatory changes?
  • How do you keep up to date on global economic issues?
  • Describe a time you saved your client/employer money.
  • Have you ever faced an ethical dilemma at work? If so, how did you manage it?

Frequently asked questions

Ready to fine-tune this interview kit?
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