FAQ - About My Tax Return
Where is My Tax Return?
On average, most returns can be completed approximately 3 weeks after all pertinent documents have been received. For those who partake in the Walla-Gram program, you will receive an acknowledgment postcard when we've received your completed Walla-Gram. Missing information delays the processing of your return, so be sure to forward all your documents to us as soon as you can.
What Do I Need to Bring to My Appointment?
Don't forget your W-2s, 1099s, 1095s, stock details, mortgage interest, charitable contributions, medical expenses, settlement sheets, real estate taxes paid, child care expenses, social security numbers of all children (including infants), bank routing numbers for direct deposit, and self-employment income and expenses. Please bring ALL records of income to your tax appointment, EVEN IF YOU THINK IT'S NOT TAXABLE! We will help you determine if the items need to be reported or not. For a more extensive list of the things to make sure you have with you, refer to our Tax Info Checklist. And, if you are a new client, don't forget to bring a copy of last year's return with you and please complete our New Client Info Checklist. If you are self-employed, have non-reimbursed employee business expenses or have rental property, please review our Business Expenses Worksheet. If you want to get a jump on our paperwork, please fill out these three documents and bring them with you to your appointment: Engagement Letter, Consent to Use, Healthcare, and Client Tax Information.
How Long Do You Keep My Records?
You should keep your own copies of your tax records and tax returns. Our records and files are our property and are not a substitute for your own records. Our firm destroys our client files and all pertinent work papers after a retention period of at least three years, after which these items may no longer be available. We will not provide you with copies of prior-year returns if you are not a current-year client.
Why Are You Filing an Extension for Me?
We cannot guarantee completion of your return if all materials are not received by March 15, 2016. Missing support documents will stop preparation of your return until all issues have been resolved. We will also file an extension if we have not received a copy of your signed 8879 for e-filing or received your signed engagement letter or tax-preparation payment by April 18. For more about extensions and misconceptions about them, please see our Taxes, Audits, Extensions and Amendments page.
How Long Should I Keep Copies of My Returns?
A paper copy of your return will be printed and assembled for your records. You should keep your tax returns for at least 4 years, but it is safer to keep them for at least six years. Keep all records for property and stocks for as long as you own them and 3 years after you sell them. If you deferred the gain on a home under pre-1997 rules, keep the relevant tax returns and settlement sheets until 3 years after the sale of your final reduced-basis residence.
Can I have additional copies of my return?
All clients receive a paper copy of their returns. Before the returns are marked as final, we offer an option to purchase a CD version of your return. Once your returns have been filed and marked as final, we may charge a minimum of $25 per copy requested. We will not forward copies of tax returns to third parties (ie. mortgage companies) on your behalf.
Where Do I Send My Return?
We electronically file all Federal 1040 returns, however, if you are filing a local return or multiple state returns, you may need to send a paper return. You should have received all the appropriate envelopes with your completed tax return, but in the event that they are lost, please visit our Mailing Addresses page.
Do You Electronically File All Tax Returns?
Yes. All Federal 1040 Tax Returns are electronically filed. As paid tax preparers we are required by the IRS to e-file, therefore, additional charges may be incurred if we need to file a paper return. There are many advantages to e-file:
- Confirmation from the IRS that your return has been filed.
- No paper returns, envelopes, or stamps to worry about.
- Quicker receipt of refunds once the return is filed.
- No more last-minute trips to the post office!
- It's environmentally friendly!
- If you have a balance due, you don't need to pay until April 15th, even if the tax return was transmitted earlier.
Here's how it works: The preparation process is exactly the same as with a paper return. However, once the return is finished, the IRS requires a signature authorization before it can be transmitted. Upon completion of your tax return, IRS Form-8879 will be given to you (and your spouse) to sign and return to our office before the tax return is e-filed. You will receive a paper copy of the return for your own records. For an additional fee, we will make a CD of your completed returns and tax documents for you.