Tax Tip – Documenting Advice and Decisions

All significant client meetings should be documented with a written description of the subjects discussed at the meeting. This will help ensure that both you and the client are proceeding with the same expectations and assumptions.

  • “Informed consent” letters should be used in certain situations, such as S corporation elections or estate tax planning. The letters help clarify that the CPA advised and informed the client, and the client agreed with the advice. Without this letter, it is easier for claimants to make it appear that the CPA made the decisions on behalf of the client. The letter will help prevent the client from successfully asserting later that your firm is responsible for unexpected events and for less-than-optimal results.
  • Tax extension payments: Written confirmation should be obtained for the amounts used for calculations, such as those used with tax extension payments. The client can review the information and change any of it that is incorrect. The client can also send the data via email or fax, which becomes part of the records, support and documentation—always critical in the event of a dispute.


  • For more information about CPA firm insurance issues, call CAMICO at 1.800.652.1772.

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