We are at that special time of year: tax season. This would be a great year to get in early. We have major changes in the tax law. The earlier we meet will be the better. Lots of potential surprises. You will want the reaction time. Charles or Adeline will begin calling to set your tax appointments on beginning Monday 28 January (unless you call us first). 15 March is the due date for Calendar corporate returns and 15 April for the personal this year. Your Letter Of Engagement is attached please sign/scan e-mail back. A few additional administrative issues need to be addressed.
Also, attached besides the usual disclosures etc. You will find our new fee schedule which have not changed in two years. This does not mean our costs have not risen with respect to postage among other things. To allow us to keep costs down and pass the savings on to you we have introduced a policy change this year. We will ask a 50% retainer at our first meeting or upon commencement of the work. This will be based on your previous years return if you are returning or our minimum fee if you are new to us. (Please see attached rate sheet) We will have credit/debit authorization forms available at your tax appointment so you may pay the retainer. If this presents a problem, we will be happy to discuss it. This allows us to save on mailings and we can pass those savings on to you.
We cannot guarantee a timely personal return if you do not sit with us for your appointment prior to the first of April (For personal) or March (For pass thru entities). Any submitted business after that we may need to extend. Remember when you extend, you are extending the due date of the return not the tax. If you will owe, please call us for an estimate to submit or you may suffer a “failure to pay” or “Underestimation” penalty. This year in order to reduce paperwork we are asking our clients to “upload documents: supporting the tax return into our website. If this is not possible, please make copies of supporting documents. Returning originals by mail gets increasingly costly. We are trying to hold our costs and yours down. “Organizers will go out for the most part electronically. If you must have a hard copy please advise well before the end of February. We encourage this to both upload documents and download drafts and the final tax return. This protects your confidentiality. Members who are unable or prefer otherwise will be served in the traditional way. As usual there are a number of forms and disclosures in your packet which will need to be signed.
For our members who must file corporate returns calendar year, these are due 15 March. For those that we bookeep we are already down loading these and have sent out Letters Of Engagement. We will contact you as needed. Form 1099s are due to the taxpayer at the end of January and to the IRS end of February. If we have not captured all of your 1099s let us know. Ideally all corporate returns for calendar year tax payers should be done by 28 February.
As usual we will evaluate your situation with you in terms of any last minute actions you can take to reduce your tax. Many of you will be eligible for Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and Simplified Employee Pensions (SEP) which you can fund up to the filing date and take a deduction for your 2018 return. These involve the self employed, business owners and individuals not otherwise covered. Ask and we will look at it. Also for employers who have 401(k) plans on the books in 2018 we can fund these up to the file date plus extensions. This is a great planning factor and opportunity.
As stated we are no longer returning original supporting documents. Please either bring in copies or upload documents into our system. Charles will help you do this allowing us postage savings. Unless requested to provide hard copy of your tax returns we normally provide electronic downloadable. If you wish hard copy we will provide the first one free of charge. Afterwards there will be a charge for copy.
Another item that has come up over the last few years is when we charge for interface with the IRS FTB or other government agencies on your behalf. Here is the rule. If it is an issue relating to a question on a return we have compiled there is no charge. We are happy to follow up on our work to clarify or resolve. If a letter or call is required to resolve an issue directly related to a return we have done: no charge. If a return is audited by a government agency we can provide information to support you preparing your case. If you wish us to represent you we bill at our customary hourly rate. Matters relating to the IRS or FTB not directly attributed to our work on your return will be billed at our hourly rate. A letter of Engagement will precede any billable time on our part so you will always know when and if you will be charged additional fees.
We look forward to seeing you and hope to fully answer your questions when we see you. We continue to offer recommendations for this year to better manage your tax burden. Feel free to indicate where we might be of additional assistance.
Very Truly Yours;
COULOMBE & SONS