When you file jointly, both husband and wife must sign e-file forms because you have joint liability for the amounts being reported.
The engagement letter simply covers our responsibility to each other as tax preparer and client. E-file forms are your way of declaring to the IRS that you believe your return is correct and approve the return being submitted on your behalf. They include key numbers like your adjusted gross income and refund or balance due so they cannot be pre-printed and they must be re-printed any time a return is changed.
An engagement letter describes what services we are to provide, our responsibility for those services as well as your responsibility as a client. We require a new engagement letter be signed annually for all tax and accounting clients.
No. This is not a service we provide.
Our fees for the preparation of your return are due when the return is complete and ready for your signature. Our invoice will need to be paid in full before we will e-file your return. If you need to make alternate payment arrangements, please speak with Adrianne prior to return preparation.
The state of your records is the biggest determining factor in how long your return takes our staff and therefore how much it costs.
1. Completing our provided tax organizer or your own summary (but not both as duplication of information increases time) helps our staff move efficiently through your return.
2. Limit the documents you submit to us to those we truly need (W2’s, 1099’s and K-1’s)
3. Summarize your medical, charitable (for gifts of less than $500) and business receipts on the organizer or on your own summary.
4. Provide all information we need at the same time.
5. When we contact you with a question about your return, provide answers to us as quickly as possible. When we have to go back to a return days or weeks later, we often have to duplicate efforts refreshing our memory.
It depends. We bill based on the amount of time your tax return takes to complete. This varies widely from client to client even for those whose tax returns appear very similar on the surface. In general, our starting rate for individual returns is $150.
We certainly can and do service many out-of-state clients. We can arrange for a telephone conference to go over information as needed for our long-distance clients.
In most cases, no. For clients who anticipate having all their documents by the April deadline, please wait and bring them all at once. Working with incomplete information means more time spent on returns and a greater potential for errors. When we receive your complete information together, we are able to work on your return more efficiently and effectively. For clients who anticipate needing to extend their return, we can use key numbers from your tax documents to determine if you need to make a payment with your extension. In this case, it would be appropriate to submit partial information so that we can perform this analysis.
Yes. We normally establish our cutoff date in early March based on the work already in our office and expectation of work to be received from existing clients. Historically, our cutoff date has been between March 20 and March 31. To ensure your return can be completed by the deadline, we encourage you to get your information in at the earliest possible date.
We work on returns in the order in which they are received in our office. While you might have an easy return that will only take an hour or two of our time, the return in front of you may be complex and require a day or more to completer. Additionally, because tax season is so compressed, bringing in your return during the peak of the season (mid February to mid March) means that it will take longer to move through our process.
It depends. While each year varies to some extent, in the four weeks between February 15th and March 15th, we typically receive 60% of our workload for the entire season. If we receive your return during that time frame, it will probably take us longer than we’d like to complete it. Returns received prior to February 15th are typically completed in one to two weeks. Returns received in late February typically take two to three weeks. March arrivals can generally expect their return to be completed in three to four weeks.
The majority of tax returns we prepare are simply too complex to complete while you wait. Having the time to fully research issues, consult other professionals and contemplate if there might be a better tax treatment for an item is essential to our practice.
All clients should bring at minimum, a full copy of your prior year tax return and your current year tax documents. For small business owners, we also need prior depreciation schedules (sometimes included with your prior tax return but not always) and a backup of your QuickBooks file or other accounting system. Please bring any spreadsheets in electronic format.
For new clients, the first step is to schedule an appointment with Adrianne Curvin . You may do this by calling our office or requesting an appointment via email. At your appointment, Adrianne will go over your prior year return and current year documents and answer any questions you may have. After you leave, your return will be processed in the order it was received. After preparation is complete, we will contact you to let you know the return is complete and ready for your signature(s). Once you have signed e-file forms, our office will electronically file your return. For existing clients, we offer several alternate options for tax appointments including drop-off or mail in of documents with no appointment and exit conference appointments focusing on tax planning in lieu of the traditional appointment prior to preparation.
Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are licensed and regulated under state law. In the State of Alabama, CPAs must complete post-graduate education, pass a rigorous test and complete ongoing continuing education requirements to remain licensed. Not all CPAs are familiar with the tax law as there are many areas of accounting.