As tax season rolls around again, taxpayers are expecting and demanding more from their tax professionals than ever before.
Intuit’s global fintech platform, which has a large operation in Plano, has put out its first-ever Taxpayer Insights and Intelligence Brief to provide insights into their needs. The study revealed high expectations for “rigorous data security” and audit protection, according to the company.
Intuit—which serves over 100 million customers worldwide with TurboTax, QuickBooks, Credit Karma, and Mailchimp—surveyed 3,000 US taxpayers who had their taxes prepared by a tax professional.
The findings also suggest that taxpayers are increasingly seeking more comprehensive services from their tax advisors. 69% of taxpayers want more advice from their pro. Most — 83% — would rather work with a tax professional who can give tax advice year round as well as file their tax return.
They’re willing to pay a premium for it, too: 79% would pay more for a tax professional’s services if it might result in improved financial outcomes, such as reducing tax liability.
Security and peace of mind are top concerns
The rise of remote work has likely made taxpayers more aware of how important data storage, security, and electronic signatures are.
The survey showed that taxpayers overwhelmingly want to know that their personal information was secure and protected in the hands of their tax professionals. 86% of respondents expect their tax pro to store their tax documents and information with industry-standard security, such as an encrypted server with an enterprise firewall. They also want things to be efficient: Two-thirds of the taxpayers expect to e-sign documents.
Taxpayers want peace of mind, too. 84% want to know they will have help in an audit. It’s not surprising that seven out of nine taxpayers said they would pick a professional who offers audit protection over one that doesn’t.
Overall, the tax and accounting industry is shifting from leading with compliance-based work to offering tax advisory services, Intuit notes. Taxpayers need strategic advice on how to maximize deductions and credits or proactively plan for future years’ taxes, for example.
“At Intuit we strongly believe that to best deliver for tax professionals it is important to understand what matters utmost to them—and that is their clients,” said Dustin Kroeger, Intuit ProTax Group VP of Marketing, in a statement.
Kroeger said the study sheds light on what’s important to clients — not only the services they receive, but how they work with their tax professionals. “As we gain these insights, we can work together to drive better financial outcomes for their clients,” he said.
The survey’s results show a “strong market opportunity” for tax professionals to adapt their own portfolio of services to meet the needs of taxpayers, he notes.
“Intuit works to solve pain points for our customers,” said Kroeger. “Intuit works to solve pain points for our customers,” said Kroeger. “As we gain these insights, we can all work more seamlessly in tandem for taxpayer and firm needs to power growth and success.”
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