What to Bring...

Please bring ALL records of income to your tax appointment EVEN IF YOU THINK IT'S NOT TAXABLE! The IRS is doing a more thorough job of matching Schedule D (stock transactions) and 1099 (dividends & interest) than ever before; sometimes with surprising results for taxpayers. We will help you to determine if the items need to be reported or not. 

Also, please remember to fill out our questionnaires and signature forms every year because they are painstakingly updated yearly to ensure that you are getting all the deductions that you deserve.

Identity Check

Many states are requiring driver's licenses to process state returns and to verify identity.  These states are: Alabama, California, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  This is optional in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Be sure to provide these details on our questionnaire if you wish to add this extra layer of security to your e-filed tax returns.
 

Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)

As a reminder for taxpayers who have foreign bank accounts or signing authorization on foreign accounts, FBARs must now be electronically filed with the Treasury Department on FinCEN Form 114. Visit fincen.gov to file yours today; regretfully, we are no longer able to file these forms for you.  The due date for these forms is April 17, 2018.  An automatic 6-month extension to October 15 is granted to all taxpayers if you file your FBAR by April 17.

A Little Reminder...

We love technology as much as anyone, however please remember when sharing your electronic documents that we require your scanned files to be in pdf format and your Word and Excel documents must be compatible with Microsoft windows. We will not download additional software to read your data.

We prefer that your e-mailed documents are sent via secure link to protect your privacy.  Contact our office to find out how.  Always secure is FAX (215) 540-0970, US Mail, or you can just drop it off in person. 

Don't Forget to Provide Stock Basis!

Not all purchase information for assets sold will be provided on the new 1099-B forms because the brokerage firms were only required to keep track for assets purchased starting January 1, 2011. It is your responsibility to provide the purchase price and original cost of stocks, real estate and any other assets you sold by searching your records or asking your broker. A fee will be charged if you want us to compute the basis for you. THE IRS WILL ALWAYS ASSUME THAT THE BASIS IS ZERO IF YOU CANNOT PROVE OTHERWISE.  Therefore, if you don't provide the basis we will take the IRS stand on this and also use zero which may result in a higher tax.

Business Deductions

The IRS will not allow deductions for computers, cars, and other items for which records and logs are incomplete. The IRS is required to disallow these expenses without proper substantiation. We have various logs available upon request for your use. 

The 2018 Tax Cut Act will no longer allow business deductions for employees of companies.  If you are being reimbursed by your employer for business expenses incurred, you should ask them to offer you an accountable plan and have them reimburse you directly.  Some of these business expenses are deductible in certain states, like Pennsylvania, so you should still keep track of your union dues, required uniforms, safety equipment and other items that are not reimbursed from your employer because they may be deductible by your state.. 

Reviewing Self-Prepared Tax Returns

As a matter of policy, we do not review or offer opinions on self-prepared tax returns. We do not use Turbo Tax or other off-the-shelf software, and, therefore, would have to recreate your work by hand. Instead, you should provide us with the actual tax documents, logs, spreadsheets and/or figures that you used to generate your sample returns instead of the worksheets and tax forms that you created on your own software.

Year-round Help Available

We are available all year to answer your tax questions. However, we may charge for inquiries requiring 15 minutes or more, or involving computations. Fees will be based primarily on the time devoted to the assignment, including conferences, phone calls, factual investigations and analysis, research, document preparation and other services rendered on your behalf. Sue's hourly rate is $200, subject to change. 

Where is My 1095 Form?

If you were covered by health insurance at any time last year, you will receive at least one of the following forms:

1095-A - issued to people who purchased insurance through the government exchange.

1095-B - issued to people covered by Medicare or who purchased a policy directly from an insurance company, rather than through an exchange.

1095-C - issued to people who were covered by a plan through their employers.

Unless you and/or your dependents qualify for an exemption, you may be subject to a penalty if you don't have health coverage for the entire year. We must see all of your 1095 forms to properly complete your tax returns. If you do not provide forms 1095 showing coverage for you and your dependents, including those living in other households, we will assume you lacked coverage during any undocumented portion of the year. No returns will be processed by the IRS that omit the question regarding health care coverage.

These 1095 forms are required to be sent to consumers by January 31.  However, the insurance industry has received their yearly extension to delay the release of their 1095 forms to their customers until March 2, 2018.  For our purposes and to expedite the processing of your tax returns, please complete our Health Insurance document for our records.  We won't delay processing of your tax returns for this form, but please forward a copy to our office when you receive yours. 

Late Arriving K-1 Forms

One of the most common pieces of late-arriving information that our clients receive is a K-1 form. We understand that they are often delayed and received well past our March 15th deadline. Many K-1 forms add complexity to the tax return and require extra effort to analyze and input. It is our policy that we will automatically file an extension for any client who receives a K-1 after March 31. We will inform you of any balance due that must be paid by April 17th. We will not "guess" as to what information will be reported on the K-1 and will not file a tax return until we have received an official K-1 form.

Before We Can File Your Return...

Your tax-preparation fee must be paid in full before we will file your tax returns, unless other arrangements are made with us. We also must have your signed Form 8879 before we can e-file; this includes your dependent's Form 8879s if they are required to file.Federal and state (if required) forms 8879 will be provided to you once your return has been completed. We also require your signature on our engagement letter. If we do not receive your payment or signature(s) by April 17th, we will file an extension to October 15th. Any tax owed must be paid by April 17th.

Missing Information

A major reason for the delay of processing your returns is that something is missing and we are unable to file a complete return. If you deliver any information to us after March 15, it is likely that you will receive an extension to October 15. The later your information arrives, the more likely you are to receive an extension. We will make every attempt to complete your returns, but be aware that your tardiness puts you further back in the line. Please provide your files in standard pdf, Microsoft Word or Excel format because we are unable to install additional software to read your files. Please try to deliver all of your missing information to us at the same time. You may e-mail your documents to us at MissingInfo@WallaTax.com.