Tis the Seasons
For the first four months of the new year, we have a lot of fun working around the clock for all our clients to ensure we do our best work and that we do it accurately. As is the nature of the beast, though, that means working on several clients returns each and every day until the end of tax season. Busy, busy time! Not only are we working on tax returns, we’re doing payroll, bookkeeping and other fun and exciting accounting projects. Therefore, please keep in mind that we do work on a first come, first serve basis. Those who bring in their documents early get their returns filed earlier.
Now, we love our clients. We think they’re the best out there and we’re more than happy to work with them day in and day out on whatever accounting needs they may have. So, we’d like to jump ahead of the game and address some commonly asked questions of us during tax season in the hopes that tax season can run even more smoothly.
Without further delay, FAQ Time!
Q: How do I know if you’re working on my return?
A: We will call or email you with questions! That’s a promise!
Q: When will my return be done?
A: Give us about two- three weeks from the day you drop off your complete tax package before checking in. Unless there’s something holding us back, like contracting the flu, bad weather, or we have missing documents, we should be able to get your return and documents back to you within that time.
Q: How can I expedite getting my return done?
A: By making sure you’ve given us all your tax documents. This is key; frequently people realize they’re forgetting something so make sure you look out for emails and answer all questions as thoroughly as possible. If you need something to double check that you’ve given us everything, check out our checklist! Also, bringing your documents in early in the season is helpful!
Q: How much will I owe the IRS/state, if anything?
A: We won’t know the answer to that until we get into working on your return; otherwise it’s like looking at a magic 8 ball and guessing a number. To have an accurate estimation of what you may owe, we have to almost have your return completely done, so if we haven’t gotten to that yet…it’ll be a very, very rough guess. Further, these rough guesses are most likely to change by the time we’re done. We can do some good tax magic, but we can’t guess what we don’t know! Sadly, we’re not psychic and don’t have a magic 8 ball or a crystal ball.
Q: Why do I owe this much to the IRS/State?
A: The only way we know the answer to this question is to look into your documents and your complete return. If we haven’t completed your return, the numbers we’re seeing are preliminary and subject to change. Various factors can make a difference of whether you owe or not and how much or how little. Tax law is always changing, maybe you made more this year than previously, or maybe you can’t claim a dependent anymore. We don’t know until we dig in!
Q: If I owe the IRS/State, how do I pay them?
A: There are multiple ways for this! You can set up a payment plan either through snail mail or online! They take checks, debit card, and credit cards. Or, if you can swing it, send them a lump sum. We also provide tax vouchers and coupons for you to help break the amount down into payable amounts. For more information, checkout the IRS website.
Q: Can I get a copy of prior years’ returns?
A: Short answer, yes of course! Long answer, it’s the busiest time of year for us, so if you know you’re going to need more copies of prior years’ returns, please ask before tax season! We always give our clients copies of returns, providing additional ones are subject to an additional fee.
Q: Will my return be done on time?
A: If we’ve said so, it’ll happen unless circumstances beyond our control happen; like missing tax documents or inclement weather. We will absolutely talk to you about an extension if we feel it is necessary. Also, tax documents brought to us after February 15 for corporate returns and after March 17 for individual returns are almost always going to be extended. Just keep in mind these dates are subject to change based off the calendar year and when the tax deadlines fall.
Q: When can I drop off my documents/pick up my copy of the return?
A: Our offices are open Monday – Friday 10am -5pm. However, since we do tend to work late hours during tax season, give us a call for us to arrange a time for you to come by if it’s after regular hours or if you need to meet on the weekend.
***Note*** If you’re just dropping off documents and Kim isn’t in the office, you’re more than welcome to leave your documents with Kim’s assistant, who’s always available during regular office hours. If you need to talk some things over with Kim when you drop off your documents, please schedule an appointment.
Q: Will I be penalized for filing an extension?
A: Nope! If you cannot file on time for the April deadline, you need to file for an extension. All that means is that you’re going to need more time to file your taxes. What you will be penalized for, by way of penalty fees and interest, is for not filing an extension and missing the deadline. Just let us know if we need to file one for you!
But this is important, read this part carefully:
You must pay tax if you owe, even if you’re filing an extension. Although you aren’t required to make a payment of the tax you estimate as due, Form 4868 doesn’t extend the time to pay taxes. If you don’t pay the amount due by the regular due date, you’ll owe interest. You may also be charged penalties. Any remittance you make with your application for extension will be treated as a payment of tax.
Q: How long do I have to file if I get an extension?
A: For business returns, you have until September 17 and for individual returns, you have until October 17. Just keep in mind these dates are subject to change based off the calendar year and when the tax deadlines fall.
If you have other questions that we haven’t addressed, please feel free to contact us! We like to do right by our clients and help them in any way we can. Tax season can seem daunting and raise stress levels, but let us take on the worry and make your lives easier!