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I am in Arizona, and recently had my taxes done with a well-known company I’ve used for years, but used a new preparer, whom I did not know. My personal and financial situation is complicated and private, but I of necessity revealed details of it to him as he was assisting me. Two days later, my (ex) husband – our divorced status is one the things we’ve kept concealed as we continue to live together – approached me asking why I didn’t tell him his boss’s husband had done my taxes.

I was floored; the advisor – whom I did not know but who it turns out was well- acquainted with my ex – had recognized our names and personal info on my paperwork, never disclosed to me the entire time that he knew full well who I was and knew my ex; and then told his wife – my husband’s boss – that he had done my taxes. She mentioned that to my ex, who approached me, apparently assuming there was some way I had known. I have no idea what else he may have told her regarding our situation (much of which we have kept very quiet) but I am uneasy with the freedom with which he apprised his spouse of our preparer-client relationship particularly when he gave me no indication during my two long visits with him that he knew my family at all, letting me reveal all kinds of uncomfortable personal and very confidential information I would have reconsidered giving had I known.

I am in healthcare, and our standards of confidentiality include not even naming or identifying patients to ANYONE not directly involved in their care, including into perpetuity after they are discharged from care. I have encountered former patients of mine many times, and from a professional, legal and ethical stance cannot even acknowledge them, unless they approach me first – and then, I may not refer to their status as having been a patient, ever, unless they bring it up. Never, never, never, may I mention to anyone – including a spouse – that a particular person is or has been a patient, even if there exists a familial or very close bond between them. I realize healthcare is a bit different, so perhaps my perspective is skewed.

But I’m unhappy with this and wondered what the boundaries are in the tax world.

Asked over 3 years ago

My husband passed away and I wanted to know if they tax the life insurance benefit I will receive.

Asked over 3 years ago

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