Topics: Industry, Outsourcing, self-assessment tax season, Tax, Tax outsourcing

Shortlisting Tax Outsourcing Providers? Here Are 7 Questions You Must Ask.

5 MIN READ | Posted on December 06, 2022
Written By Pooja Kshirsagar

Tax outsourcing

The Self Assessment tax season is one of the most challenging times for accountants across the UK. Excessive workload, tight deadlines, and endless work hours are just a few of the challenges facing accounting firms. Add to this a severe shortage of workforce, lack of business skills, and a high cost of recruiting and training new staff, you might find yourself short-changed with no end in sight.

Are you struggling with any of these issues? If yes, then we have a solution for you- outsourcing.

A tax return outsourcing company can help your business meet client expectations on time, increase productivity, and achieve deadlines with a quick turnaround time.

Sounds great? But how do you choose the right outsourcing company for your specific needs?

Today, there are plenty of companies for tax preparation outsourcing in the market. Initially, it might seem challenging to pick the right one for your business. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of eight questions you should ask potential outsourcing providers.

1. What type of returns do you process? What level of expertise does your staff have with different types of returns?

One of the main reasons for outsourcing taxation services is to get it done by experts. So, it’s necessary to check into the experience of the provider and its staff. Ask the outsourcing company about the types of tax returns they are well-versed in and the overall work experience of their staff.

2. How much volume of work can you handle?

When you begin talks with potential outsourcing companies, it’s a good idea to have an estimate of how much work you’re planning to outsource. Once you have this number in place, speak to the outsourcing partner about the volume of work they can take on.

It doesn’t make sense to send them huge volumes of work if they won’t be able to complete it on time. Furthermore, it’s important to check whether they’ll be able to take on additional work if needed. To better understand their work capacity, ask them about the average volume processed over the previous tax seasons.

3. What type of tax preparation software are you familiar with?

Different companies work with different types of tax preparation software. When it comes to technology, there’s no single universal solution as it keeps evolving. It is, therefore, important to ascertain whether your UK tax return outsourcing partner can work with the software your accounting firm uses.

Outsourcing firms that work with multiple software are ideal for your practice in case you decide to switch technologies in the future. Ensure you ask for a list of tax preparation software used by the outsourcing firm before you finalise it.

4. What is your average turnaround time?

Turnaround time is critical in outsourcing because your firm is running at a breakneck pace during the tax season. It is, therefore, essential to have a reliable partner who can churn your returns within a short time. When speaking to a potential partner, it is a good idea to have an expected turnaround time so you can better decide which provider to finalise.

5. How do you protect client data? Do you have any contingency plans in place?

Data security is of utmost importance for any business, especially an accounting firm.

Some measures you should look for while outsourcing taxation services include GDPR compliance, ISO 27001 compliance, non-disclosure agreements signed by employees, strong security measures to protect data and sensitive information, and contingency plans in case of any issues. Don’t forget to check where your company data is stored and if there are any redundancies.

6. What level of visibility will I have into the progress of the assigned work?

It’s crucial for your business to have some amount of visibility into the progress of the assigned outsourced tasks. Accountants who outsource tax preparation services generally opt for offshore resources owing to the cost-benefit, making tracking and reporting crucial.

In order to know how things are progressing, speak to the outsourcing partner about how you can get regular progress updates. An outsourcing company that offers an automated workflow is a good choice as you’ll get on-demand and real-time visibility into the status of your work.

7. What other services do you provide?

Your initial business requirements may solely be related to the tax season, but you might want to use the outsourcing company for other accounting-related tasks in the future. Check with your outsourcing provider about their various offerings like accounting and bookkeeping.

It’s also important to get references from previous clients about the potential tax outsourcing partner to make a more informed decision.

8. What is your fee structure?

Different outsourcing companies provide different engagement models based on clients’ requirements. But the right partner is the one that customises its pricing to best suit your needs.

When choosing a tax preparation outsourcing provider, inquire about the firm’s pricing and engagement models. Make your objectives and requirements clear so the firm can provide you with the best quote. If the firm offers a free trial of its services, do not hesitate to try it.

Lastly, compare multiple providers’ pricing and engagement models before you shortlist the right firm to outsource tax returns.


The right outsourcing partner understands your requirements and customises its services to align with your goals. Working with such a provider will feel like an extension of your own firm. So, it’s important to do your due diligence when finalising a potential outsourcing provider.

Before you shortlist a firm to outsource tax preparation, remember to ask them the above questions to assess whether they’re a good fit for your practice. Additionally, conduct background checks, look them up on social media, gather testimonials and reviews, and assess their services through a free trial, if available.

An experienced and accomplished outsourcing partner like QXAS will ensure that you’ll be able to operate efficiently during the tax season and offer high-quality returns to your clients. QXAS provides a comprehensive range of tax outsourcing services, including Self Assessment, VAT, bookkeeping, and corporate taxes.

Why choose QXAS?

  • Vast talent pool of highly experienced tax professionals
  • Guaranteed turnaround time of 24-48 hours, based on the complexity of the tax returns
  • Customised pricing and engagement models
  • Dedicated support
  • Compliance with all the essential data security standards

If you have any queries about outsourcing taxation services, reach out to our tax experts at [email protected] or call us at +44 208 146 0808.


Book a Free Consultation

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. If you want our team to help you resolve talent gaps, reduce costs and transform your business operations, just book a call. 


With a rich experience of curating content for various industries, Pooja believes in the power of words in marketing and building brands. She enjoys experimenting with different forms of content and is currently on a mission to add value to the accounting industry through her detailed and researched write-ups.

Pooja Kshirsagar

With a rich experience of curating content for various industries, Pooja believes in the power of words in marketing and building brands. She enjoys experimenting with different forms of content and is currently on a mission to add value to the accounting industry through her detailed and researched write-ups.

Unauthorized copying or plagiarism of our content is a violation of intellectual property rights. We take such matters seriously and will pursue legal action to protect our original work. Anyone found engaging in such activities will be held accountable under applicable laws.

Originally published Dec 06, 2022 10:12:01, updated Dec 08 2022

Topics: Industry, Outsourcing, self-assessment tax season, Tax, Tax outsourcing

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