Dear Clients and Friends,
While 2020 had us all dealing with unprecedented circumstances, and we all longed for a return to “normal” in 2021 I’m not sure that is what we experienced.
Labor and staffing challenges, supply chain issues, the highest rate of inflation in 40 years, mandates and more new laws than any mere mortal can keep track of… if this is the new normal, they can keep it!
On a positive note, the Karate Kid made a serious comeback on Netflix.
So as we move into 2022 (hard to believe) please find below information that will help us all have a successful and stressless (or less stress) tax season.
2021 Tax Year Filing Season Tax Preparation
As our office continually strives to be a paper-free company and an effort to help keep the Cape Green – We will be using email, our website, our secure portal, and our blog to keep you informed as well as provide questionnaires and checklists for the upcoming tax season in lieu of sending documents via snail mail.
Or feel free to download directly from our website.
Our questionnaires and checklists serve as essential tools that not only provide you with a list of the source documents and information needed by us to prepare your tax return but also help us gain a complete picture and a better understanding of your 2021 story so that we can follow-up with the appropriate questions and do the best job possible for you. Completing and returning the questionnaire with your source documents is a critical element of accurate tax preparation and therefore is a required step. As the world (and the tax world in particular) continues to increase in complexity it is paramount to receive your input on events and circumstances that have occurred during the year. We do not care how you fill out and return the form… printed out and filled out by hand and dropped off is just as good as using the fillable function and returning it digitally (as long as we can read your handwriting!). Completing the questionnaire should not be an onerous endeavor… we would suspect that it shouldn’t take longer than ten (10) minutes or so. Please note, we cannot begin to prepare your returns without this critical information.
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!
Things do change – especially in a time like this – 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 2021? Was your job situation affected by the pandemic? Did you move, or have a child? Did your student loan get sold to a different lender? These notes allow us to quickly address what needs to be changed, if they are not present, it could have the potential to slow the process down.
Please note we are kindly asking that you DO NOT staple your source documents together. 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.
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!
How To Get Us Your 2021 Tax Year End Source Documents
Client Portal: Our client portal is a secure place to upload all your tax related documents. Our portal is simple and easy to navigate. It also lends the opportunity to upload your documents right from the comfort of your own home. If you haven’t registered, no worries! Just call the office or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you set it up within minutes!
Secure Dropoff: While we would recommend uploading documents virtually through our portal, if there were any reason you would need to drop of documents in a physical format you can do so by using our secure drop box located at the rear entrance of the building. The secure drop box is routinely checked throughout each workday (M-F, 9am-5pm).
Mail: You can still send your documents via mail. If you choose this route, please be sure to take into account the additional time it will take for us to receive documents and please try to have your documents fully complete and organized so we don’t run into that infamous snail mail time crunch.
Email: Questions you have about your filing or return can be answered by one of our team members via email, however, we do not recommend sending personal or financial information through this line of communication due to its unsecure nature.
Curbside Pickup: We certainly appreciate the unfortunate continuing nature of the pandemic. If you have physical documents that you need to pick up and you are hesitant to come into the office, no problem… we ask that when arriving at the office, you call the front desk, and we will bring the documents out to your car. Please note that we may be assisting a client in the office or over the phone at that particular moment but we will make every effort to be just as quick as possible.
Please plan to send us your complete information as early as possible ~ including the questionnaire. For Clients who submit their information after Monday, March 21, 2022 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 21st.)
What Does it Mean to File an Extension?
Extensions are quite 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 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 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 15 days (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 (e-file forms) and Payment
If you are filing joint tax returns, both parties must sign the e-files. Our documents are equipped with Right-signature, allowing you to virtually e-sign the appropriate documents. 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 e-File 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