(617) 794-4084 / firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a summary of my services for the benefit of new clients or
for those who are requesting assistance other than tax preparation.
Tax preparation services are offered year-round, by appointment only. My services include electronic filing, penalty and interest guarantee on any preparation error, and backup of your tax data for six years. My practice includes all 1040 type returns (ie, other than corporations and partnerships), including taxpayers with income/residencies in multiple states, and nonresident aliens (Form 1040NR). I also prepare trust (Form 1041) and gift tax (Form 709) returns. In addition to tax preparation, I offer consultations and audit representation, most occurring after/before the tax season.
As you can see, this isn't some tax website template which all appear similar and your tax preparaton is completed anonymously. Although I also use a secure client portal for long-distance clients for their convenience, communicating with clients directly is the first priority. Many tax websites also brand a marketed newsletter, not a bad thing, but I've written every guideline, summary and tax tip posted throughout. I code my website manually so while it's not the most flashy, I hope it gives you enough helpful information about tax laws and my expertise. Here's a link, also on the main page, to my professional background.
I consider my prices reasonable without sacrificing professional quality, and you can be assured that I stand by my tax preparation services. Even in a situation in which I would explain that something you want to deduct is not deductible, my goal is to prepare your tax return to give you the lowest legal tax liability. I reimburse for penalties and interest if the IRS or state tax authority assesses any deficiency due to preparer error. You can contact me throughout the year for follow-up questions and general tax advice.
The distinction with my practice is that I explain your tax return to you using straightforward, non-technical terms as much as possible, so you can be confident in the preparation and have an understanding of your tax situation. It's a relaxed but still professional setting, a private office with some of the comforts of home. And enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee or spring water while we meet!
Haven't filed past tax returns? No time like the present!
While it's important to timely file your tax return (by the due date or with an extension) if required to do so, there's no late penalty when you're due a refund. However, there is a three-year statute of limitations to claim a refund (or two years after the tax has been paid, whichever is later). The IRS can require you to file those years or they may even file a "substitute for return" on your behalf. You will be subject to penalty and interest on any balances due. Current IRS policy is generally to go back six years, further back with IRS managerial approval or if fraud is suspected. But a taxpayer must also consider that this policy doesn't alter any tax filing requirement, and the 10 year statute of limitations on collecting tax doesn't start on tax returns that remain unfiled.
- File your tax return, even if you owe. The penalty is greater on the nonfiling than on the underpayment.
- If you haven't filed a return when you were required to do so, best to face the music/pay the piper/[insert your favorite cliche] and do so now, rather than worry if the IRS will contact you. (See note above on IRS policy.)
- Keep your tax returns and supporting documentation for at least three years; six years is best if there's a chance you may have overlooked reporting some income; keep records concerning stock purchases and depreciable business purchases as long as the assets are still owned.
Offered primarily during the 'offseason,' ie, the summer and fall. Starting a business and need a little help with understanding what estimated tax payments to make or what expenses are deductible? Need advice on adjusting your W-4 withholding because of increased income? Thinking about renting out part of your home? Planning on retiring? If you have a couple general questions, this is provided on a complimentary basis and can be done via email or phone. Otherwise, consultation fees for new clients are $50 minimum for the first half-hour+, or $65 for a full hour. If the client returns for tax preparation in the current or next tax filing season, credit for the second half-hour will be applied, if applicable.
As an enrolled agent, this is a category of tax professionals authorized to represent taxpayers before the IRS, such as when the taxpayer has been selected for an audit. Most IRS letters are notices such as CP2000 (CP means computer paragraph) proposing changes based on discrepancies reported on your tax return, or notices requesting further information. As the preparer of the tax return, there is no additional charge for resolving these types of notices, unless amended returns are necessary due to a client's oversight.
If you've received a notice that you are being audited and required to contact an IRS examiner and/or send in documents, I can represent you in your place before the IRS. You will need to sign a Power of Attorney form which authorizes me to represent you for the specified tax matter and period(s) being audited.
Please see audit services for further details and representation fees.
If owing a large tax liability, one option that can help is an installment agreement. This allows the taxpayer to make scheduled periodic payments and also cuts the monthly late payment penalty in half. Under the Fresh Start provision, the IRS must accept this agreement if the balance is not over $50,000 and will be paid in 6 years or less. A user fee is added to the agreement, and it's advisable (and required in some cases) to be set up as automatic debit payments, both for convenience and to lower the user fee. This service is part of my tax preparation for clients, but for nonclients we can set up a short in-office meeting to prepare and file the installment agreement for a $50 consult fee.
An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is more complex, based on one of three arguments (doubt as to liability, doubt as to collectibility, or effective tax administration). The last two arguments requires three months' documentation of your expenses and income. An OIC requires a tax payment and $186 application fee to be submitted with the offer. There are numerous advertisements from companies claiming they can reduce your liability to pennies on the dollar. If it sound too good to be true... However, while the IRS acceptance rate is about 40%, it is possible to substantially reduce your tax balance due if you meet the qualifications and requirements. Therefore, preparation of an OIC is 'document-intensive' and success greatly depends on the client providing me the necessary documents. There are no secret maneuvers and not everyone qualifies! For most OICs, you provide evidence of your assets/liabilities/projected income and the IRS follows a formula to establish the minimum offer acceptable. After revewing the options, if a taxpayer wishes to proceed, further procedures, fees and expectations will be discussed along with a downpayment of $250 as a nonrefundable retainer. More information about an Offer in Compromise is here.