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Frequently Asked Questions about Tax Preparation

1. What kinds of tax returns do you prepare?

I prepare individual, business, trust, estate, and gift tax returns. Along with preparing the returns I also prepare tax projections for those clients that want to implement year-end tax savings strategies.

2. I noticed that you do “Trust Administration”. What exactly is that?

Upon the death of a person that had a personal or family revocable trust, the trust must be administered by the successor trustee. This typically involves legal notification to beneficiaries/heirs, obtaining a trust tax ID number, filing trust income tax returns, and distributing assets to beneficiaries/heirs per the trust document instructions. Most people are not familiar with their obligations as a trustee. I am here to help the trustees through the process.

3. If I want you to prepare my tax returns for the first time, how does it work?

For a new client, I ask that we have an initial consultation meeting so that we can accurately determine what your needs and concerns are. We can meet in person, on the phone, or through a Zoom meeting. Prior to the meeting I will want copies of your prior two years of tax returns so that we can review and discuss them. At the meeting we will also discuss other services you may require along with my fee schedule.

4. How does the tax preparation process work?

After I receive your prior year tax returns I will send you a tax organizer that will assist you in gathering your tax documents. The organizer will also include some basic tax questions. After you complete the organizer, you may drop off your information at my office, send it to me via U.S. Mail, or you may upload the information to a secure portal through my website.

If I have additional questions while I am preparing your tax returns, I will call you to discuss them. Once the tax returns have been finalized you will receive an email with copies of your returns and an electronic signature link utilizing DocuSign. After you electronically sign the tax returns, they will be e-filed with the federal and state taxing agencies.

5. What are your fees for preparing tax returns?

My fees are competitive with other North County tax firms. The fee for any specific return varies and is based on the complexity of preparing the return and the number of hours required to prepare it. The charge for a typical tax return is $600-$900.

6. What happens if I receive a letter from the IRS or state tax agency?

I work year-round in my office, so if you receive a tax notice you can send it to me for review. Often times, a notice can be resolved with a simple phone call to the taxing agency that issued the notice.

7. Why should I hire you rather than a less expensive local tax preparer?

Almost anyone can register to be a paid tax preparer in our community. There are no educational or training requirements to register with the IRS, and no expertise is required.

I am a Certified Public Accountant. To obtain that designation I was required to complete numerous tax courses while obtaining a four-year college degree, and then pass the rigorous Uniform CPA exam and ethics course after working under the supervision of another CPA for 2,000 hours. To maintain my license, I must also complete 80 hours of continuing education courses during each two-year licensing period. This ensures I stay up to date with ever changing tax laws.