Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1.  How much will you charge to prepare my tax return or provide other services?

Our fees are based on the time required to prepare a tax return or to provide other agreed upon services in an accurate, effective, and efficient manner.  Since every engagement is unique, it is difficult to post a price list without having some idea of the time it will require to complete the engagement.  This being the case, we do offer a free consultation, whereas, we will meet with you and, in addition to providing professional advice concerning your particular situation, give you our estimated fee range for any services you wish us to provide based on the information obtained during that consultation.  We believe in fair billing practices and great client relationships.  Therefore, we will attempt to not ever surprise our clients regarding billing issues. 

You may contact us by phone or email anytime you wish to discuss proposed services and related billing rates.


2.  Do you take credit cards?

          Yes, we accept Mastercard and Visa credit or debit cards.


3.  When should I expect my refund?

If your refund was to be directly deposited in your bank account, you should expect your refund to be deposited eight to fifteen business days following the acceptance of your tax return by the Internal Revenue Service.

If your refund was to be mailed to the address on your tax return, you should expect your refund in three to nine weeks following the acceptance of your tax return by the Internal Revenue Service.

 

4.  What if I haven’t received my refund when expected?

We have a link on our website under “Tax Center” or you can log on to the Internal Revenue Website:  www.irs.gov and click on “Where’s my Refund.”  You will need to enter the Social Security number of the person listed first on your tax return, the filing status on the return (ex. single, married filing  jointly  etc.), and the whole dollar amount of the expected refund.  There should be an explanation as to the status of your refund.

 

5.  Who should file a Form 4868 – Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File  U.S. Individual Income Tax Return and why?

Any individual, business, trust, or estate may obtain an Extension of Time to file a return.  There are many reasons an individual or other entity may want to file for an extension.  A few of these reasons may be that all the necessary information required to file a return from investment companies, banks, etc., has not been received or there may have been an illness or death in the family preventing the assembly of required information prior to the original due date.  In some situations, if the return is involved, we may need additional time outside of the rush deadline to devote special attention to the information given, tax return presentation, or other related issues.   Sometimes, procrastination on the part of the taxpayer requires an extension to be filed.  There are other reasons why an extension may need to be filed, and, as your tax professional, we will advise you should any of these come to our attention.

In any event, where an extension is required or recommended, it is important to keep two things in mind.  First, you may extend the time to file a return, but you cannot extend the time to pay.  Therefore, if you are in a situation where money is due on the original due date, a payment will need to be submitted along with the extension to avoid future penalties and interest.  Second, the filing of an extension “DOES NOT” constitute a late filing.  The main reason that you file an extension is so that the return will not be considered a late filing when not submitted by the original due date.  Any taxing authority would rather have you submit an accurate return in the first place than to have you file on the original due date and have to amend the return later. This is why the extension option is offered by most taxing authorities.

 

6.  What should I do if I receive a notice from the IRS or any other governmental authority concerning my tax return or other related issues?

The first thing you should do upon receiving any notice from the Internal Revenue Service is to call our office.  We will instruct you to either bring the notice or a copy of that notice to our office or fax us a copy.  We will then review the notice and let you know the best way to proceed.  “DO NOT” telephone the IRS yourself.  Telephone calls to the IRS can be recorded.  You may say something or volunteer some information which may or may not be pertinent to the notice itself or may present it in such a way that it is misunderstood or misinterpreted to your detriment.  Your trusted tax professional should be the only one communicating with any taxing authority on your behalf.

 

7.  What if I misplace my W-2 form – how can I get another one?

The employer who issued the W-2 form should be able to get you a copy of the original.  In the event the employer is not able to reissue the W-2 or the employer cannot be located, you may need to file an extension and wait for the IRS to receive the information which can then be forwarded to you.  We can help you with this process.

 

8.  How much money do I have to make before I am required to file an income tax  return?

Generally speaking, if your taxable income is less than your standard deduction plus your exemption amount, you are not required to file an income tax return.  However, you may still need to file if you have had withholding, are eligible for certain tax credits, or are required to file to take advantage of a government program such as the recent stimulus program or for other financial assistance.

 

9. Can I claim any relative who is living with me as a deduction on my tax return?

Since every situation is unique, you will need to call us to discuss your circumstances.  Generally, the relative must meet the dependency test as outlined in the Internal Revenue Code.   We can help you make the determination whether a relative meets this test.

 

10.  What should I do if I have not filed a tax return in several years?

You would need to make an appointment with someone in our office to discuss the matter.   This would be considered a free consultation at which time we would review your situation and give you our recommendations. Most of the time, the tax returns for the non-filed or “open” years would be prepared and submitted to the IRS. 

Payment arrangements to the IRS can usually be made if necessary.

 

11.  Will your firm be there for me if I am audited?

Absolutely, if your return is selected for examination, you may request that we represent you to answer questions and administer the audit.

While less than 1% of our clients are ever audited, we have no control of the audit selection process adopted by the Internal Revenue Service or any other taxing authority.  We do not recommend that you conduct the administration of the audit yourself.  We do recommend that you consult a tax professional to assist you with this process.  Hopefully, you will choose our firm to represent you.  As this can be a time consuming process, we cannot represent you without compensation.  We would be pleased to discuss providing assistance to you under the terms of a separate engagement for that specific purpose.

We have continuing education and quality control procedures in place to mitigate any errors or deficiencies in providing services to you.  However, in the event a reporting error is found on a return we prepared that is related to our service and not to incorrect information provided by you, we will correct that issue free of charge.  This circumstance is totally different from an audit in which the agency may examine the whole return even if it is found to be accurate and free of errors.  In other words, even if the audit results in a “no change” audit, it still usually takes a substantial amount of time to administer the audit to your benefit and we cannot remain in business if we cannot be compensated for our time investment.

Again, historically less than 1% of our clients are ever audited and this is generally a non-issue.

In reality, most of our audit representation engagements come from new clients who engage our firm to represent them for tax years in which they had either prepared the returns themselves or had worked with another tax preparer prior to choosing us to represent them.