PTFS FAQ

With your help, we can improve the organization side of tax time, which will in turn create more time for personal service and communication. The following information will help you get the best service possible from our firm.

 


 

Do I need to meet with my accountant when I turn in my tax materials?

If you have complicated tax issues, you may want to set up an appointment. If your tax situation is similar to the prior year or changes are fairly straightforward, you are welcome to drop off your tax materials without an appointment. You can also mail your documents to us. Be sure to send your documents by Certified Mail, Courier, Fed Ex, or any method where the package can be traced.

If we have questions once we begin working on your taxes, we’ll call you.

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What materials will I need to bring in for you to prepare my personal tax return?

Filling out our tax organizer is most helpful! Organizers are available on request.

Here’s a quick checklist of items to be gathering:

  • All your (and your spouse’s) Wage and Tax Statements (W-2)
  • Date of Birth for you and your spouse
  • All your 1099 forms that you received from Banks or Investments
  • If you bought and/or sold real estate, the (HUD-1) Settlement Statements
  • Mortgage Interest and points paid (Form 1098)
  • Your Keogh, or IRA contributions for the tax year
  • County Personal Property Taxes paid
  • Real Estate Taxes paid
  • Any estimated taxes paid
  • Residency change – if you moved to/from another state: date of move
  • Social security numbers for everyone (you and your dependents)
  • Your childcare provider’s name, address and federal ID
  • If you own a rental property, related income and expense information
  • A detailed list of Charitable Donations (cash & non-cash items) w/ estimated values
  • Non-reimbursed Business Expenses (ex: continuing education, computer, travel…)
  • If you sold any stocks, the date you sold them, your proceeds, AND when you acquired the stocks and what their average cost basis was.
  • Major Theft or Casualty Loss
  • Major Medical or Dental Expenses
  • Voided Check (for electronic filing refund account verification)
  • If self employed – Income, expense, and equipment purchased info
  • If we didn’t do your taxes last year, please bring a copy of your prior year federal and state tax returns for us to review

Having your documents well organized is extremely helpful.

  • Please put your things in a folder or envelope.
  • Write your name, address, email address, and work/home/fax/cell phone numbers on front.
  • The organizer should be placed on top of your other materials in the folder. As previously mentioned, organizers are available on request.

We Recommend: Make copies of all your documents. Give us the copies. You keep the originals.

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What kind of turnaround time can I expect?

The actual time needed depends on the number and complexity of returns received ahead of yours.

We strive to start work on your file within 3 weeks of your submission date. Files received in late January or early February will be returned more quickly since there’s less backlog. By mid-February we’re usually at 4 weeks (or more) lead time.

Your submission date is the date you bring in the last of your tax information. There is no benefit to turning in a few things at a time.

W2s, 1099s and other important tax information should be mailed to you by the end of January, but in the last few years, some companies haven’t met that deadline. This past season, some banks and brokerage firms were especially late. A good many of our clients received 1099s that were labelled as Figures Not Final. We understand situations like this are out of your control and will do our best to work with you. Be aware that if it occurs late in the season, it may result in filing an extension.

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What if I need my returns completed BEFORE April 15th?

Some clients need their returns completed sooner than April 15th for refinancing, home mortgages, school financial aide (FAFSA), going out of town in April, etc. Plan ahead! Turn in your data AT LEAST 4 weeks before you need them and let us know about your special needs at the start! If you bring things in on an emergency basis and need us to give you priority over others who turned their packets in sooner, extra charges will be incurred. The less time you allow, the higher the charges.

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It’s March, and I’m just getting my personal tax information together. Can you still do my taxes?

Respecting the clients ahead of you and with an eye to self-care, we’ll prepare them under extension.

If you get your tax information to us by March 1, our staff will key in the figures as soon thereafter as possible. Assuming your data is complete, we will do our best to help you file on time.

If the data is incomplete, we receive it after March 15, or work simply hasn’t moved through as quickly as expected, then we will prepare an extension.

Filing an extension on a personal return gives you until October 15th to file the return. The extension due date for business is September 15th. If you owe money when you file after April 15th, penalties and interest may be due. If you have a refund, there is no penalty.

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I know that I owe the IRS money and I don’t have it. Should I wait to file until I have gathered the funds?

NO! There is a 5% per month penalty for late filing. It’s easily avoided by filing an extension, even if you cannot pay the amount due. By filing an extension you may reduce or eliminate the Failure to File penalty.

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I want to file an extension. When should I let you know?

Let us know as soon as you can. Don’t wait until close to the due date.

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It’s April and I want to know how my tax returns are coming along. What should I do?

When your returns are complete, we’ll call you. If you have a special concern, you can contact our administrative assistants, Paige or Hollie. They will be happy to check on the status of your returns.

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What about other questions I may have?

When calling for any reason, you will most likely speak first to Paige or Hollie. Give them as much information as possible about what you need. They work hard to answer as many questions as possible in order to all our accountants more time to focus on tax preparation.

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How does electronic filing work?

E-filing saves time, postage, and paper. Refunds are sent faster when returns are e-filed. There is no extra charge for e-filing. We will arrange for your taxes to be e-filed unless you tell us otherwise. Once your taxes are complete, you will receive a copy of your tax return for review. Enclosed will be 1 or more e-file forms. If you agree that the tax return we prepared for you is correct, sign the form and return it to our office. Upon receipt of your signed form, we will transit the tax return to the IRS and to the state(s) electronically. If there are questions or concerns about your return, contact us right away to get them resolved.

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I am expecting a refund. Once I return the signed e-file forms, how long will it take until the funds are received?

We can’t say for sure but last year, most refunds were received in 7 to 14 days. Some took up to 3 weeks and a few were received within a week of being filed. Direct Deposit speeds the refund process. If you request a refund by check, add 7 days to all the above estimates.

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Are there any discounts to reduce tax preparation fees?

We charge by the hour, not the form. Total cost will depend on the complexity of the issues involved. Taking the time to fill out our organizer and having your tax materials well organized will save us time, and in turn, reduce your fees.

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What do you need from me in order to prepare a tax return for my business entity(corporation, LLC, Partnership, trust, estate)?

If you are new, we’ll want a copy of your depreciation schedule and accounting records for the tax year – as an electronic data file, in print, or both. Bank and credit card statements for the entire year will provide necessary support. We’ll also want copies of any payroll tax reporting that you did for the year.

    • Please put your information in a folder or envelope.
    • Write your name, address, email address,and work/home/fax/cell phone numbers on front.
    • The organizer should be inside the folder on top of your other materials. Organizers are available on request.

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This is our business entity’s first year. Is there anything special we need to provide?

In addition to the above, we’ll want to receive names addresses, and ID numbers for all of the principals in the company. A copy of the letters from tax authorities granting ID numbers is helpful, and for S corporations we want both the 2553 filed with the IRS and their letter to you granting S status to the corporation.

Beyond that, you’ll want to document the costs paid with personal funds while the entity was being formed and was in its startup phase.

 

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PTFS