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A Message to My Clients

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 01 2011

As we March in earnest into tax filing season I think it a good notion to send a few words to all regarding the challenges and efficiencies of this new decade in tax reporting.

First and foremost, tax preparers who do more than 100 returns are now mandated to file all of the returns electronically. Thus, efiling, which I began last year and successfully filed over 65% of returns for 2009, now applies to all except those with a specific objection and are willing to jump through IRS hoops in order to opt out.

Relative to process; most things we do together have not changed:

  • ·         Prepare your tax materials as usual. I wish to have all of your third party documents (w-2's, 1099's, year-end tax summaries from brokers, mortgage and real estate tax   documents from your lenders and a copy of your HUD-1 settlement sheet if you happened to re-finance a mortgage, and any other documents that seem relevant.)
  • ·         If you sold any securities in 2010 (see 1099B portion of broker's statements,) please review your information and be sure that your acquisition date and original cost data is included. If not, you should begin an immediate research project to fill in that gap. If that information is missing it will slow down the processing of your return and undoubtedly make me spend extra time and increase your bill. Take note of the further complications if you held shares over a long period and/or did any dividend re-investing. You may need to ask your broker with some help in these matters.
  • ·         From your checkbook and other records you should compile your charitable donations, directly paid taxes (real estate or personal property {Va.} ,) excessive medical expenses, and whatever miscellaneous deductions or business expenses you may have. Also provide information regarding your health insurance costs, especially if you are self-employed. Of course, if you are self-employed you have other requirements such as your business accounting records, auto use, etc.

Bored yet? Don't stop reading now?


Relative to filing your returns when completed:

  • ·         I need to provide a "clients copy" of your returns for your review. I can do that the old fashioned way; hard copy delivered or picked up as in the past, or as a digital file emailed to you or placed in a folder created for you in a secure client portal on my web site.
  • ·         Once you have reviewed and approved your returns I need to be authorized to file them electronically, on your behalf. That is accomplished by signing two forms, one federal and the other for the state. I will provide these forms with your copy of the returns. Once signed you may return them to me by a) scan and email, b) fax, or c) if not close to filing deadline, mail.
  • ·         Refunds are now typically direct deposited and arrive very quickly. At times, in less than a fortnight. Please provide your preference re: Bank account with account number and bank routing number.


That's all for now.


Hunt and gather your materials and call or write with questions. I will try to return calls within 24 hours.




p.s. when bored with taxes take a look at my latest project, an arts web site at


Jeff Schwartz