Although each tax return is different, there are certain basic procedures we follow. We prepare tax returns in the order they are received, so it is always best to complete your tax organizer and send us your information as soon as possible.
Receipt and login
We receive information by mail, e-mail, and fax, during conferences and by personal delivery. Regardless of how it is received, each envelope, package, shoebox, and carton is logged onto our tracking system by the time and date of receipt. Our in-house control sheet is started with the first information. It stays with your file for every procedure and is ultimately filed with our copy of your completed returns. Each procedure completed on this sheet is dated and initialed by the person who completes it. This control sheet assures us that no steps are missed and your return receives the care it deserves.
At this time, your tax information is checked. “Questions and Comments” sheets are reviewed and given to the accountants. We then attach your tax file and put it on our "Info In" shelf in the order it was received.
Our administrative staff scans and copies the W-2 forms, 1099s and other backup documents we want to retain in our files. The entire file is then moved to the “To Do” shelf, still in the same order it was received. You can help us to speed up this part of the process if you do not staple, glue or tape information together.
The accountants prepare the tax returns in the order they are received. It is during this stage when the time and cost of preparing the tax returns begins to vary significantly, because the preparation time varies with the complexity of the return and the condition of the information. If the information is in the shoebox format, it must be summarized and evaluated before it can be entered into the computer system. If a tax organizer is completed, the information can be agreed to supporting documents, such as W-2 forms, and then entered immediately into the system. If the tax organizer is not completed, a computer or manual summary of income and deductions is the best alternative.
It is at the preparation stage that our education and expertise are critical. We combine our education and experience with many hours of continuing education during the year, to be certain that we are absolutely up to date and ready to prepare your tax return.
If we have questions about your tax information, see opportunities for tax savings, or if you have additional information to send in, your tax data is still entered into the computer and then your file is placed on a hold status, until any open items are resolved. You can see that it is beneficial for you to send in your tax information as soon as it is substantially complete. This way, when the final detail is available, you will not be starting at the beginning of the process. Your final bit of information will go directly to the preparer, and your return will be completed.
Every tax return in our office undergoes an accuracy and technical review before it is considered complete.
Printing and assembly
When the tax return has been approved, final copies are printed and the returns are assembled. Before final assembly, the returns are reviewed a final time. We process all returns at our office, rather than using outside processing firms. This avoids the unnecessary delay that can result from sending or transmitting data to a different location.
Mailing or pick-up
We will mail your tax returns to you unless you let us know that you would like to pick them up. We also can have our messenger service deliver the returns to you. The charge for delivery varies with your location. If you have told us that you do not want your return transmitted electronically, you will receive your copy of the tax returns plus copies to sign and mail to the IRS and state taxing authorities. If we are transmitting the returns electronically, you will receive the entire returns for your files but instead of copies to sign and mail in, you will receive only one-page (each) federal and state authorization forms to sign and return to us as soon as possible. You can also fax the e-file authorization forms to us at 619-282-9499.
Tax regulations require us to file your returns electronically unless you tell us you want to file a paper copy instead. We cannot transmit the tax returns (e-file) until we receive your signed authorization forms. Once we have transmitted the returns, we will mail you a notification form so you know the returns were filed and accepted. If you do not want to file electronically, please let us know and we will send you a form that allows you to elect out of electronic filing. You will need to sign and return that form to us.
The cost of your tax return depends on preparation time plus costs. Each employee keeps detailed time sheets, and we bill for most tax returns the month following completion. Some complex returns, along with tax returns on extension, are billed as work progresses.
Invoices are due when received. Please call us if you are unable to pay within 30 days. We will work with you to establish a payment plan. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover Card payments.
If your tax return information is not complete in time to prepare your tax return before the April deadline, we will prepare extension requests. There is an additional charge for the preparation of these forms. Extensions only extend the time to file, not the time to pay any tax due; therefore, your approximate tax liability must be determined in case a payment is required with either the federal or California extension. Extension rules provide an additional 6 months to file — until October 15th.
Once your tax return is filed and any balances owed are paid, you can relax. But remember, effective tax planning takes place all year. If, during the coming year, you have any questions regarding your taxes, please call us.