Dear Clients and Friends,
Warmest greetings! As this year is coming to an end, we hope you had a very successful and enjoyable year. The new tax season is here and we are prepared to offer you the same excellent and high standards of service you have received in the past. We are looking forward to working with you to make filing your taxes as painless as possible. To that end, please review the important procedural information below.
As our office continually strives to be a paper-free company – our efforts in helping to keep Cape Green – We will be using email, our website, our secure portal, and our blog to keep you informed as well provide checklists and/or personalized tax organizers for the upcoming tax season in leu of sending documents via snail mail. Please be sure to keep an eye on your email!
Tax Return Checklist
You will be receiving via email a personalized 2018 Client Organizer Checklist. It provides you with a list of the source documents and information needed by us to prepare your tax return based on what income and expenses you had last year. Use it to gather and organize the documents needed to complete your 2018 tax returns.
Please note we are kindly asking that you DO NOT staple your source documents together. SPM&Co strives to be paper-free company which means all source documents are scanned into our system and electronically stored with hard copies being returned to our clients. Staples slow the scanning process down.
Things do change over a year – so make sure to note any important changes as well – for example, if you refinanced – make a note to that effect: “My mortgage was refinanced in May and we now have a loan through XX Bank”. Did you get a new job in 2017? Did you move, or have a child? Did your student loan get sold to a different lender? Let us know!!
If you take a couple of extra minutes to double-check that you are sending us complete information, it will save a lot of time and we will be able to complete your tax returns sooner! Many people send in “most” of their documents but a couple of items are left out. Please keep in mind that we will not work on your file until we have all your documents. Using the checklist is a great way to ensure that you didn’t forget anything!
Sending in complete information benefits everyone. We can’t stress this enough – our staff CANNOT begin to work on your returns until ALL necessary documents have been received by our office. Thanks in advance for your cooperation!
Appointment & Sending Us Your Documents
We will continue to limit the number of meetings during tax “crunch time” in order to get your tax returns completed quicker. There are several easy ways to get your tax information to us. As mentioned above, we encourage you to use our secure portal. If you prefer to drop off your documents in person, you may do so without an appointment. Our office is open Monday through Friday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM.
Plan to send us your complete information as early as possible. For Clients who submit their information after Monday, March 25, 2019 we cannot guarantee that we will be able to complete the returns by April 15th. They will be placed on extension. (As always, we will make every effort to complete your tax returns by April 15th but it is much less likely if we do not have all of your information by March 25th.)
What Does it Mean to File an Extension?
Extensions are very common due to the ever-increasing complexity of the tax laws. I place both my business and personal returns on extension, without fail! An extension is a form filed with the IRS and the State to request additional time to file your tax return. The extension period is 6 months, which extends the due date for submitting your final tax returns from April 15 to October 15. It is common practice for CPAs to set a cut-off date for clients to submit their tax information so that they can plan their workload and ensure all client returns and extensions are completed by April 15.
If we are going to file an extension for you, we will discuss whether or not you owe more tax than you have already paid during the year. If you do, a payment is required by April 15 with your extension. This payment can be made electronically with the filings of your extension. It is important that we have accurate Bank Account information for you on file in order to ensure that the payments to the IRS and State are made in a timely manner.
When your tax returns are ready, we will contact you immediately to coordinate delivery. Our standard “turn-around” time for individual returns is three weeks (once all information is received). Placing multiple calls to the office to check the status of your tax returns slows our process down. We appreciate your patience and ask that you keep this type of call to a minimum.
Signature Pages (efile forms) and Payment
If you are filing joint tax returns, both parties must sign the e-files. Again, as mentioned above this can be done through Right Signature. Payment of your invoice is required at the time of delivery of the completed tax returns. Important: We cannot submit the electronic files to the IRS and State without signed eFile authorization forms and full payment.
As always, we look forward to working with you again this year. Please do not hesitate to call our office if you have any questions. We appreciate your business and continued support.
Stephan P. McMahon CPA & CVA
PS – Here is a list of things frequently missed by clients (may not apply to everyone):
- Form 1099-HC or 1095-A (proof of minimum credible medical insurance). These forms are typically mailed out by the insurance companies in early February. This applies to EVERYONE unless you are on a government health plan such as Medicare or MA Health.
- Form 1098-Mortgage Interest Statements for all mortgages and home equity lines/loans.
- Form 1098-T (college tuition paid) and/or Form 1098-E (student loan interest paid). For student loan interest, is it for your undergrad or graduate education?
- Did you make any cash or non-cash charitable donations? Did you pay excise tax for your vehicle? Did you pay real estate tax or rent? What about dependent care? Did you buy or sell a property?
- Did you make any estimated tax payments to the IRS or your respective state(s)?