Tax Direction Instead of Tax Advice

Outside of a professional appointment giving tax advice is not a good idea.  While I am careful not to give advice on topics I’m less familiar with and always add a small disclaimer to anything I do say.  I’ve noticed that the refresher this course has given me has made it a lot easier for me to point people to the correct publications and/or specific tax forms.   Since I’m not specifically in the practice of tax preparation and my daily work is largely unrelated to taxes, I still shy away from getting into too many details with people.  Especially as a CPA, I try to be very careful about how I share information.   It can be tempting to throw everyone’s tax problems into a general category but without going over the details of their specific situation it just isn’t a good idea to try to tell them what they should or shouldn’t do.  I feel a lot more comfortable helping people to ask the right questions when they speak with their tax adviser or when they are preparing their own taxes instead of giving them specific answers.  This is probably the safest way to handle these types of questions and as I complete additional courses I plan to keep this in mind whenever I discuss taxes with someone outside of an actual appointment.