Do I have to be there?
No, you do not need to be physically present for your tax appointment. Nearly all tax returns are filed electronically (e-file) and appointments can be done via office, remote, or a combination of methods. Most often source documents (W-2's, etc.) and tax paperwork can easily be sent over via Canopy our client portal to expedite the filing process. We encourage every client to send source tax documents prior to their appointment, and especially for folks who know they have a simple return/no major changes since last year.
If done remotely, paperwork requiring signatures can be signed electronically.
For married clients, only one spouse needs to be present for any appointment either in office or phone. (both spouses must review their tax returns before filing and sign our authorization forms and engagement letter).
Our priority is providing the highest service in the most convenient and confidential fashion for our clients. While certain folks prefer to schedule an office appointment (which we appreciate!), we recognize many clients may not have that capacity or prefer to work remotely and we are primed to serve them as well.
What are your office hours?
Office hours are by appointment; typical work hours are:
During tax season (Jan 15th - April 15th) - Monday - Saturday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM.
April 20th - 30th - Closed for tax season break - (except for previously agreed upon deadline urgent issues).
After tax season (May 1st - Dec 31st) - Monday - Friday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
October 19th - 25th - Closed for tax extension break.
December 24th - 31st - Closed for Winter break.
While tax season usually begins around January 20th, we recommend clients seeking an early appointment call the prior week (1/15-1/20), as that is the time frame when office operations begin full-time. Clients calling after the first week of February (2/7-2/15) can reasonably expect a two-week wait period between call and appointment time. Calls later in February into March and April (2/15-4/15) should realistically expect longer wait periods.
Much of the year's work is done in a short period of time, and the above scheduling guidelines ensure quality control and maximum time per return during tax season. This is done to enhance and further assist our clients, rather than deter them. Many tax firms either knowingly or involuntarily fall into these guidelines, as the work volume rapidly and exponentially increases during tax season.
How much do you charge?
Fees begin at ~$100 for basic federal & state tax returns with one W-2 (includes electronic filing [e-file]).
Assuming no substantial calculations or forms are required, tax and business consultations are always free the first hour for new clients.
Tax preparation fees are based on time spent, complexity of the return/scenario, and the forms/schedules involved. Each case is unique, and even seemingly identical tax returns can have drastically different fees after finalization. We recommend you contact us with a message describing your tax scenario as detailed as possible so we can provide a more accurate quote.
For tax representation (audit, collection, and/or appeals cases), business consultation, and ongoing services, fees are billable as either hourly, on contingency basis, or a combination. This is thoroughly communicated after the facts are determined and estimated cost/timetable have been established in an engagement letter.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
- Client item checklist - Excellent organizer for individuals.
The following are popular generic and industry-related tax deduction organizers for taxpayers who use Schedule A:
- Law Enforcement
- Real Estate Professional
- Rental Property Owner
- Vehicle, Travel & Entertainment
Send/bring all tax forms and anything else you feel is relevant to your tax return.
For tax representation or other issues, please bring any correspondence received by IRS or State tax agency and all other applicable information.
The more detailed and organized information we are provided the easier our task is. Missing or delaying data often results in higher fees as more time and resources are required. Our responsibility is to prepare the return/offer advisement based upon the most complete and accurate documentation provided (industry/approximate projections used for start-up consultations). Please note we do NOT offer bookkeeping or accounting, and if substantial bookkeeping or reconstruction is required for tax preparation/representation, we will perform the necessary work and bill accordingly.
How can I send you tax documents?
Upload the files to your client portal in Canopy, make sure document is laid flat on a clean surface with appropriate lighting, and the necessary data is legible (we will be printing a larger copy which sometimes looks substantially different from phone version).
I owe money. How can I pay?
make a federal payment via different methods on IRS.gov.
Payments to California state Franchise Tax Board can be made here.
If both federal and CA state taxes are owed it is recommended to pay Franchise Tax Board first as CA tends to more aggressive on collections.