Like almost all tax professionals, we use an Engagement Letter. The Engagement Letter has grown from one page to three pages. Some of this relates to items that my attorney wants on the document; some of the growth is from my insurance company. However, most of it is from IRS rules. One item that has been in every one of my Engagement Letters is the following:
You agree that you have provided us with and will provide us with all requested documents, that the information is and will be accurate and truthful, and that you will answer all of our questions fully so that we can properly prepare your returns.
Most tax professionals have similar language in their Engagement Letters. If we are to best prepare your tax returns, we have to know what’s going on. I’ve been told by my physician clients that their patients often don’t tell them the entire story. I can’t imagine doing that; how is my doctor going to do prescribe the best treatment if he only has half the picture? Tax professionals are no different; we can’t properly prepare your returns if we only have half the picture.
But if you want a tax return that’s inaccurate, and doesn’t have all the deductions and/or credits you’re entitled to, go ahead and deceive your tax professional. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!