TQ Overview

Topics covered:

The TQ auto-saves - you can always close & revisit

The Tax Questionnaire is saved  after every field change, so you can freely close the browser & resume another day or on another computer.

If the internet goes down, you will see the error message. Thus, you always know when the changes made to TQ can't be saved.

Do I have to answer every question?

In one word - no.

We only ask that you answer questions pertaining to your situation. Please select the only the characteristics that apply to you while creating the TQ

There are only a few questions that are mandatory. We require these to start work on your return. If you try to save the TQ without them - the system will raise a flag and ask that you answer them first.

Make sure to provide actual numbers (saying "see attachment" does not work as it lends to ambiguity and the high chance of error). If you are ever in doubt or unsure how to answer, please don't hesitate to drop us a note and we'll respond ASAP.

After you complete the TQ, you will get a pop-up telling you how many questions that we think are important are not finished. This is just a guide - you can still proceed without them.

I am completing multiple years. Do I have to complete a TQ for each year? Which year should I do first?

Yes.

We need a Tax Questionnaire for every year you’d like us to prepare.

You should start with the earliest year first, as you can copy data from earlier years.

How should I complete the TQ if I’m filing an amended return?

Complete TQ the same way you would complete one for an original return.

When done, upload a copy of the original return you would like us to amend and notify your tax preparer that you are requesting an amended return. 

How should I complete the Tax Questionnaires if I’m applying to the Streamlined Procedure?

In general, the Streamlined Program (SP) requires the filing of the last 3 years of tax returns and 6 years of FBARs. In other words, you'll have to file 2015-2020 FBARs and tax returns for 2018-2020 (see Streamlined program - Which years to file?)

Here's what information is needed:

  • 2020 tax questionnaire, full and reflecting all income
  • 2019 tax questionnaire, full and reflecting all income
  • 2018 tax questionnaire, full and reflecting all income
  • 2017 tax questionnaire, marked 'FBAR ONLY'. This will allow you to have a shortened version of the TQ
  • 2016 tax questionnaire, marked 'FBAR ONLY' This will allow you to have a shortened version of the TQ
  • 2015 tax questionnaire, marked 'FBAR ONLY'. This will allow you to have a shortened version of the TQ

Note - each time you create a TQ, you can click 'import from an existing TQ', and please see the bottom of this link to understand how to easily transfer/ import data from your prior questionnaires -  Creating a New Tax Questionnaire (TQ). You will have to make small adjustments, such as adding new accounts/deleting closed accounts and updating balances on the existing accounts.

You will complete 3 such TQs - so, in the end, we'll have 3 TQs with FBAR details and 3 TQs completed fully (total 6 years done).

If you are applying for the  IRS Streamlined Procedure, you have to file 6 years of FBAR regardless of the balances on your foreign accounts.

When finished, please submit your questionnaires

How to complete TQ if expatriating?

In the year of expatriation, you will need to file two returns — 1040 and 1040NR. Thus, you will need to complete two TQs: for residents and non-residents.

First, please create current year resident TQ. To do so, select U.S. Citizen for Citizenship while creating a TQ. Complete your first TQ with a view to all information that is relevant before your expatriation date.  

Then, create a non-resident TQ. Our system only allows for one TQ per year per person, so please select a year that is not in question (i.e. 2001). Select None of the above for Citizenship. Complete your second TQ with a view to all information that is relevant after your expatriation date. Note - as opposed to the citizen TQ, the non-citizen TQ will only require US-sourced income, not worldwide income.

Once you’ve finished working on your Questionnaires, please submit them for review.

Navigating the TQ - settings & 101

Completing the TQ is as simple as that. You may use the settings listed below to make the TQ navigation even easier.

Selecting the Right TQ Sections 

Our TQ is done in a way that shows only the questions pertaining to your situation. You are asked to answer Yes to the questions that apply to you while creating the TQ. Depending on your answers, we will show/hide certain sections of the TQ. Selecting certain icons may prompt additional icons. For example, I earn a salary will show two more on the next page: I have income from the U.S. and I have income from outside the U.S. Please answer Yes to all questions that apply to your situation. 


Showing Additional Questions

If you can't find a specific question/section of the TQ, you just need to refine your selection of the sections. Simply click  Life & Income button at the left, then answer Yes to all questions that apply to your situation. For example, to display Self-Employment section, select Self-employed or independent contractor. Please refer to the table below to find out which questions should be answered Yes to display certain sections. 

Note that once you deselect the icons, the related sections are no longer displayed.


Section to display Icons to choose
Personal Details > The Basics > Family I am married
Spouse Income I am married
Non-US Financial Accounts I have financial accounts outside the US
Personal Details > The Basics > Dependents I have children or dependents
Income > Wages I earn a salary
Income > Self-Employment Self-employed or independent contractor
Income > Corporation & Trust I have ownership in a corporation or trust
Income > Passive Income > Dividends I receive dividends
Income > Passive Income > Interest I earn interest
Income > Passive Income > Rental Income I rent out property
Income > Investments I have investments
Taxes & Deductions > Deductions I want to maximize deductions
Taxes & Deductions > Retirement & Social Security I have a pension
Income > Passive Income > Pension I have a pension
Income > Home Sale I sold property

Created FBAR Only TQ, Need Regular (or Vice-Versa)

If you've created an FBAR only TQ (for citizens/GC holders, who are participating in the streamlined procedure program) - but choose this erroneously and need to complete a regular tax questionnaire, you can toggle it off at any time. Click the gear icon at the left, then switch off Fbar Only toggle.

Getting Question Help

If you are not sure how the question should be answered please use question help prior to contacting your tax preparer. Each question has the ' More info' icon next to it. Hover the mouse cursor on the question for the icon to appear. 

To get more detailed help on the question, click the  More info icon. Question help window pop-ups. Read the information carefully and then click X to return to TQ. 

Click  Something is still unclear if you need assistance with the question, then select the appropriate option. Describe your issue, then click Save and Send to notify your tax preparer. 

Previewing All Answers on One Page

To see all your answers on one page, click the gear icon at the left, then turn on Preview on one page option. This way you can check the information you provided before submitting the TQ.

Once the answers are shown on one page you may easily print your answers by using the Print option in your browser.

Highlighting Unanswered Questions

To identify unanswered questions, turn on Highlight unanswered option on the left. The empty questions will be highlighted in blue. You will also see exclamation point icons next to such questions.

Showing Question Numbers

If there are some questions you would like to discuss with your tax preparer it's a good idea to refer to the question numbers. Click the gear icon at the left, then turn on the  Show question numbers option to see the numbers next to each question. 

Searching the TQ

You may use the Search tool to quickly jump to any question, answer or question help. Just type any word from the question title in the Search field, press the Enter key, then click the question title to jump to it.

Adding Comments

You can provide additional information/comments regarding each question. Every question or file upload dialogue has a  ' Add comment' icon on the right. Hover the mouse cursor on the question for the icon to appear. If you click it, a pop-up will come up allowing you to provide additional comments for this particular entry.  After that, you will see your comment below the question.

Also, there is a Notes section where you can review your question comments as well as provide additional information that's not related to any particular question. 

Marking Questions as a Draft

You can mark a question as "draft" so that you know you still have to come back and finalize its value later. When you click on the ' Add comment' icon next to the question, a pop-up will come up which allows you to provide additional comments. On the bottom, there is Mark answer as draft to be revised later check box. 

If you select it, the system will mark this question as Draft and also add the blue flag icon next to it.

To see all your answers marked draft, turn on the Show marked draft option at the top left. 

Which web browsers do you support?

On desktops, we recommend using either  Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

On mobile devices, we support Safari and Google Chrome for iOS, and Google Chrome for Android.

On Windows, we support Microsoft Edge version 79 and above.

On Mac, we support Safari version 11.1 and above.

Can I provide additional information/comments?

There are two ways of providing additional information in TQ.

Use 'Add comment' icon

Every question has an ' Add comment' icon on the right. Hover the mouse cursor on the question for the icon to appear. If you click it, a pop-up will come up allowing you to provide additional comments for this particular entry.  After you 'Save Extra Comment', your comment will be shown beneath the question.

Use Notes section

In addition to the ' Add Comment' icon, if there are additional details that you are unsure of where to input, you can use the Notes section. You may need to press Save in order for your assigned tax preparer to view your additional Notes.

Can I enter decimals? Should I round up or down?

No. Please round every monetary figure you report to the nearest dollar (or integer value if you report in another currency).

Do I have to complete the Tax Questionnaire?

In a word - yes.

We need to get from you details about your situation one way or another. That is why we devised the Tax Questionnaire. It is the most efficient way for us to obtain your details to prepare your tax return.

How do I delete a Tax Questionnaire?

If you want to start from scratch, you may delete a previously created Questionnaire.

1. Click the recycle bin icon next to the appropriate TQ, then click Confirm.

2. Confirm that you want to delete the TQ, answer a control question, then click Delete.

Can I see history of changes I made to the TQ?

Yes, you can!

To see all changes that have been made to the Questionnaire, click the clock icon next to the TQ. 

A page showing your Tax Questionnaire History will open. 

The date and time of the last update are displayed at the top. You may view the full history of the changes made below. The changes are sorted by date, and the most recent changes are always displayed at the top.

  • DATE - The date and time the change was made.
  • SECTION - The Questionnaire section where the changes were made.
  • QUESTION - The question whose answer was changed.
  • EDITOR - Who made changes (you or TFX team members). 
  • CHANGES - What exactly was changed (new value added, value changed, etc.).

Rolling Back to the Previous Value

To roll back to the previous value, follow these steps:

1. Double-click the value to highlight it, then right-click on it and select Copy.

2. Right-click on the Tax Questionnaire at the left, then select Open Link in New Tab.

3. Click the year link to edit the Questionnaire.

4. Double-click the value in the Questionnaire to highlight it, then right-click and select Paste.

Should two spouses complete one or two different Tax Questionnaires?

If you are  not sure how you should file or you know that you want to file a joint return, both spouses should complete one Tax Questionnaire.

  1. Make sure to answer YES to the question Were you officially married as of Dec-31 of the filing year? 
  2. Answer Yes to the question Are you filing jointly with your spouse? that will then show.

Answering those questions YES will make the system ask you various questions about your spouse. If you answer them negatively, the system will not ask you about your spouse's income.

If you are positive that you will be filing as married filing separately, both spouses will have to sign up with their own accounts on our system and complete separate Tax Questionnaires.

Please make sure to email us in that case so that we will assign both spouses to the same Tax Consultant.

TQ is asking me to upload a document that I don't have at the moment. What should I do?

If you are asked to upload a document that you don't currently have, you may skip it and provide a comment about the missing document by clicking on the 'Add comment' icon next to the related question.

The reason we ask for it is to ensure that you are providing 100% accurate figures to the IRS (they will check them). We can prepare a draft of the return without the form and help you obtain the missing document in the meantime.

When you ask me to upload a file, which file types are accepted?

We accept all major image types, such as  JPG, PNG, TIFF, and PDF.

We also accept MS Office files - such as MS Excel and MS Word files.

You can also upload a zip file containing multiple documents. However, zip files cannot be uploaded inside the Tax Questionnaire nor should you email them to your preparer. You can only upload zip files via the Documents > Documents You Provide Us section of the Client Area.

Here's what happens when you upload a zip file containing multiple documents:

  1. The system automatically unzips the file into a new folder with the same name as the zip file you uploaded.
  2. The system automatically deletes all files that are not images or documents.
  3. The system scans the files for the viruses and deletes any files that are infected.
  4. The system then deletes the original zip file you uploaded.

How do I let you know that I'm finished?

Once you’ve finished working on your Questionnaire, you may submit it for review. There are several ways in which you can do this:

  • If you are editing the TQ, click the green ALL DONE – SUBMIT button.
  • If you are looking at the list of Questionnaires, click the blue SUBMIT button.

After the Questionnaire is submitted, it is first automatically analyzed by our system. 

If you’re missing answers to required questions

Certain questions are mandatory and require answers. Such questions have an orange star icon next to them. 

If you have not answered all of these questions than your TQ will not be submitted and a pop-up will open prompting you to answer the remaining required questions. Click on the question name in the pop-up window to jump to the required question and answer it.

If you’re missing answers to recommended questions

If you answered all the required questions but skipped the recommended ones, you will see the following screen.

This window gives you the options of checking all the unanswered questions so that you can go back and answer them. You are not required to answer all the recommended questions, but the more info you provide to us, the better we can prepare your return.

Select    Not ready – still making edits to return to the Questionnaire and answer the remaining questions. These ones will be highlighed in blue.

If you don’t want to answer any more recommended questions, select   Finished- Submit TQ, then click Submit.

How to Make Us to Review Your Submission

You can now continue to work on the other Questionnaires. Note that we won’t start analyzing the submitted Questionnaire until you confirm that you are finished completing all your questionnaires. 

If all Tax Questionnaires you would like us to work on are submitted, you click   All Done - Please Review button to inform us that you are ready. We will analyze your responses and reply with an Engagement Letter within 3 business days.

How do I let you know that I'm finished?

Once you’ve finished working on your Questionnaire, you may submit it for review. There are several ways in which you can do this:

  • If you are editing the TQ, click the green ALL DONE – SUBMIT button.
  • If you are looking at the list of Questionnaires, click the blue SUBMIT button.

After the Questionnaire is submitted, it is first automatically analyzed by our system. 

If you’re missing answers to required questions

Certain questions are mandatory and require answers. Such questions have an orange star icon next to them. 

If you have not answered all of these questions than your TQ will not be submitted and a pop-up will open prompting you to answer the remaining required questions. Click on the question name in the pop-up window to jump to the required question and answer it.

If you’re missing answers to recommended questions

If you answered all the required questions but skipped the recommended ones, you will see the following screen.

This window gives you the options of checking all the unanswered questions so that you can go back and answer them. You are not required to answer all the recommended questions, but the more info you provide to us, the better we can prepare your return.

Select    Not ready – still making edits to return to the Questionnaire and answer the remaining questions. These ones will be highlighed in blue.

If you don’t want to answer any more recommended questions, select   Finished- Submit TQ, then click Submit.

How to Make Us to Review Your Submission

You can now continue to work on the other Questionnaires. Note that we won’t start analyzing the submitted Questionnaire until you confirm that you are finished completing all your questionnaires. 

If all Tax Questionnaires you would like us to work on are submitted, you click   All Done - Please Review button to inform us that you are ready. We will analyze your responses and reply with an Engagement Letter within 3 business days.

I want to change something in the TQ after I submit it. How can I do that?

Please open the Tax Questionnaire you want to update; then make the necessary changes. When you are finished click this button on the bottom of the page:

Please note: you can only make changes before the Engagement Letter is signed. After that, the Questionnaire will become locked. But you only have to ask your Tax Preparer and (s)he will unlock it for you to make changes.

My TQ year is not available - what do i do?

We do not enable a future year tax questionnaire until late in the year to avoid confusion of which year to complete. 

Example: TQ for 2019 will be available in December 2019. 2019 Tax return will be due in April 2020.

If you are in need of a projection, please complete a 'dummy' TQ for a year we will not be preparing (ie 2005)

How can I print my completed Tax Questionnaire?

Sometimes you may want to print your answers to TQ to keep them handy. Here's how to do it:
  1. Turn on Preview on  one page  option in TQ settings in the left sidebar.
  2. Use the Ctrl+P (Windows) or Command+P (macOS) keyboard shortcut. This works in most web browsers. The Print option may also be found in the browser’s menu (you can usually access it by clicking three dots or gear button). 
  3. Adjust the print settings (e.g. specify the number of copies to be printed, the color mode etc.), and then click Print.

Created NRA TQ, need regular (or vice-versa)

TQ (NRA to regular TQ and vice versa) conversion hack

If you've created a non-resident alien TQ (for non-citizens/GC holders, who do not meet the substantial presence test) - but choose this erroneously and need to complete a regular tax questionnaire, we cannot convert the TQ. Here's a workaround:

  1. Create new TQ, of the desired type (NRA, or regular), copying from the existing TQ you created, for a 'dummy' year (ie - 2005).
  2. Delete the original TQ
  3. Create new TQ, in desired year, in desired format, copying from the 'dummy' TQ.
  4. Delete 'dummy TQ'

Video - Using the Calendar Year Income Calculator

My internet is fine, but TQ keeps saying I have no connection

Our Tax Questionnaire is saved  after every field change, thus your internet connection is checked permanently to ensure that no changes you made to TQ are lost. If you see the error message just try to use another browser. 

On desktops, we recommend using either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

On mobile devices we support Safari and Google Chrome - you can download it for Android or IOS.

If you have to use Internet Explorer - we only support  version 11 and above.

On Mac, we support Safari version 10.1 and above.

Getting Question Help

Use the 'More Info' icon

If you are not sure how the question should be answered please use question help prior to contacting your tax preparer. Each question has the 'More info' icon next to it. Hover the mouse cursor on the question for the icon to appear. 

To get more detailed help on the question, click the  More info icon. Question help window pop-ups. Read the information carefully and then click to return to TQ. 

Click   Something is still unclear if you need assistance with the question, then select the appropriate option. Describe your issue, then click Save and Send to notify your tax preparer. 

I am very busy - can I just give you all my documents and you will figure it all out?

Yes, it is certainly possible. We have a VIP service. Here is how it works:

  1. You send us your personal documents.
  2. We input your data into our Tax Questionnaire.
  3. You review it and authorize us to proceed.
  4. We prepare your return.

We charge our standard billable rate of $200 per hour for this service. The amount of time needed to fill out a Tax Questionnaire depends on the complexity of the individual’s tax situation, but it normally takes us 1-2 hours. You can find more details about this service here.

Once the Questionnaire is prepared, the rest of Tax Preparation service is performed at our standard fees.

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