Feb 16

The Interview Process

Importance of the Interview Process (true story – names changed): John Doe came into one of our sites to have his Form 1040 prepared and efiled. He noted filing Single on our Intake/Interview Form. He also listed a female name as dependent. Conversation ensued regarding this female and whether she could be claimed for either dependency or HOH exemption. This woman is his live in girl friend of six years. Further discussion ruled her out for use on his return. Counselor then proceeded to start the return. Mr. Doe decided to continue his romantic saga explaining that he planned on marrying his girlfriend as soon as he could obtain a divorce. WHAT!!! Further conversation revealed his is still legally married but has no idea where his wife is and hasn’t seen her in six years. They are not legally separated! He has been filing a Single status for all of those six years (not necessarily with us). The counselor (and LC) tried to explain in a calm fashion that they could not help him with his return as his only legal filing options were MFJ or MFS and, since he could not locate his wife, MFJ was out of the picture and that MFS was out of scope. As expected, he left mad – mad at us for not filing as he has done for several years, and mad that we still considered him married. Moral of the story – Talk to your taxpayers!!!!