We make every effort to make sure tax planning is part of the tax preparation process. We want you to be prepared for what the future holds and be better educated about the financial decisions you are making today so you are aware of the tax concerns that you need to be aware of now and in the future.
In order to better serve you and to help you gain a full perspective of your tax situation the following is generally our process for preparing your returns.
1. Schedule appointment to drop off your taxes: During the season our tax professionals may be booked out a week or two. We recommend you schedule your appointment with one of our Tax Professionals at least one or two weeks prior to your preferred appointment date. You can still schedule your appointment if you are missing all the information needed to complete your taxes if this missing information can be dropped of at our front desk at a later date, without meeting with your tax professional.
We can begin preparing tax returns for the filing year beginning around January 25th, depending on when the IRS and/or state governments are ready to begin processing them. In order to guarantee that your taxes will be done by April 15th, we will need to receive your tax information by April 1st. If you need an appointment after April 1st due to being out of town, please confirm with your tax professional about how we can assist you if you will be home later than April 1st.
If you will not need to meet with a tax professional to go over your information you may just drop off, email, upload to our secure portal, or mail the information and we will call you with any questions or concerns that we may have. If you are not meeting with your tax professional we ask that you drop this information off by April 1st. We do not recommend emailing your confidential information, especially if your documents are not secured in some manner.
2. Gathering of information and complete tax organizer: We have various worksheets available on our Forms and Worksheets page on our website. All Clients are required to at least complete the our Tax Organizer. The organizer and the worksheets are tools that may help you better organize or prepare your information, and are required to ensure compliance for the taxpayer and the tax preparer to ensure neither party will be subject to additional fees or penalties.
We will accommodate any system you use for gathering your information, but ask that you summarize all your information if necessary depending on the information that you have, so we are not looking through and adding up all your receipts and other items.
3. Meet with Tax Professional: Generally, you will first meet with a Tax Professional to review the income, deductions, credits, and any other items pertaining to your tax situation. During this appointment, we will generally ask you questions to ensure that we have all your necessary information to prepare the tax return and discuss options for your tax situation that may help you save taxes. Additionally, during this time we will also answer and try and clarify any questions that you may have and let you know if any additional research is needed to fully answer your questions.
In most cases, we will not prepare your return while you are present in our office without prior approval due to the number of clients that are usually missing information to complete their taxes. This is so we can focus on the preparation of your return to ensure accuracy and so we can get a better understanding of your tax return when we are preparing it and can better advise you on possible options. If you are filing a joint return, and your return is not being completed while you are here, it is not always necessary for both of you to be present at this appointment.
4. Gather additional information for Tax Professional: In most cases, there will be information that you will not have at your initial appointment. We understand that this is commonplace, and is another reason why we rarely prepare your returns while you are here. Generally, once you drop off your return it will be completed within seven business days of receiving your information.
5. Pick up your taxes or review tax return with Tax Professional: Once the return has been completed we will call you to schedule a time to pick up your tax return. If you are filing a joint return, we generally recommend that you both come to this appointment. We cannot file your return until we receive both signatures, and each taxpayer needs to sign their own signature. You cannot sign for your spouse, parent, or child over 18 unless we have a signed power-of-attorney on file authorizing your signature on their behalf. We do offer electronic signatures if one or both signers on the tax return cannot come into our office. If you don’t feel the need to meet with your tax preparer to review your tax return you may also just come in and pick up and sign your return upon completion.
During this appointment, we will then review your tax return, discuss any additional planning options that we may have figured for you, and address any questions that either of us may have.
6. Wait for a refund or pay your taxes: In many cases, your state refund is issued in three to seven business days, and your federal refund within seven to ten business days if you elect direct deposit. Refunds processed by mail generally take 21 business days or more. There are occasions where your refund may take longer than expected. You can check the status of your refunds from the links provided on our Important Links page.
If you owe taxes you will need to pay your taxes by April 15th to avoid a late payment fee. If you need to request a payment arrangement we can prepare the paperwork for federal requests, but you will need to contact the state to make any possible arrangements.