By the way, I have a couple of important tax season tidbits at the end of this post, after the article.
Well, the “sequester” is here, and nothing has collapsed just yet. Not to say that I’ve been able to watch too closely — we’ve been somewhat busy around our Chino tax office here these days.
It sure would be interesting to be a fly on the wall of some of these budget meetings happening in government offices lately, though.
Because I’m always fascinated by the “behind the scenes” of what happens in different organizations or businesses. For instance, I wonder what the board meetings are really like for professional sports teams, or how those TV shows really get written and promoted. Some people think about the teams, the shows … I find myself thinking a lot about the business behind them. That’s just how I’m wired.
Well, one of the “behind the scenes” aspects of OUR work is our interaction with other tax professionals. We go to conferences (put on by the IRS, etc.), we share strategy with one another (unless we’re in fierce local competition — but even then, I make it a point to be giving), and we often get to see each other’s work (reviewing returns).
Last week, I wrote about how you could be a good Lin tax client … well, now I’m speaking of what my commitment is to YOU.
Because one of the problems with many tax professionals out there are the “terms” by which they operate, and a lack of communication about what happens when … well, read on.
Tax Filing Expert Michael Lin Explains What You Should Have in Place When There is a Mistake On The Return
Do you have a tax accountant who guarantees their work…in writing?
Sure, some guys might say: “We’ll make it right if we screw up”, but then the stuff hits the fan and they fight you every step of the way.
I’ve heard too many horror stories about taxpayers getting a letter from the IRS, then they take it to their accountant, and then the letter sits on a desk gathering dust.
Or stories about the CPA who makes some calls on your behalf, but then you get charged an arm and a leg in the process. Or sadly, a taxpayer doesn’t get any help from the person who prepared their taxes for them so they “go it alone”, call the IRS themselves and have to try to figure out what to do and not to do during this normally ugly IRS correspondence … THIS can be a nightmare!
Don’t let that happen to you. You need to have a written understanding with your tax professional that you won’t be left in the lurch. Oh, and also: does this guarantee actually do something you want it to?
I’ve seen some accountants guarantee they will file your taxes for you by April 15th or they will file an extension for you. Well…great! That sure makes you feel good in the morning, doesn’t it? Other weak guarantees I’ve seen in the tax industry are, “We guarantee we will begin preparing your tax return the same day we meet with you.”
That means nothing to me. I don’t care when you start preparing my taxes. I want to know how long it is going to take you to finish it, and to do so without silly errors you know you should have caught.
So remember–the guarantees should be in areas you care about, like:
Tax Return Accuracy … Speed of Service … Most Money Legally Yours … Ongoing IRS Protection For Years After Filing …
These are the things YOU care about! Make sure the tax professional you choose stands behind these critical areas of tax preparation, so you get the most out of your tax filing experience.
Now for those tidbits I mentioned:
1) There are (literally) BILLIONS of dollars in unclaimed refund money available from the IRS from 2009 returns. Here’s the catch: You must claim it by April 15th, 2013.
How do you do that? Have us take a look at your return, and file an amendment if we find something which needs changing, updating, etc. There are all kinds of reasons why this might be — suffice it to say, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.
Or, alternatively, there are people who simply didn’t FILE a return, but just trusted that the taxes withheld from paychecks was correct. Oops — that’s where the IRS gets the billions figure, because there are so many unclaimed refunds due to unfiled returns.
Either way, we can help (and routinely do). Call us: 909-627-5927
2) The IRS is reporting problems with the “Where’s My Refund” tool: http://www.irs.gov/Refunds. Because of filing delays, there has been a surge in use of it. I guess their servers weren’t expecting people to, you know, use it.
3) And speaking of filing delays, this week, we’re able to file some returns we’ve had to sit on. If you had to use one of the forms on this page (http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/List-of-IRS-forms-that-1040-filers-can-begin-filing-in-late-February-or-into-March-2013), then we’ve been waiting on notification that we can file for you. As of this writing on Monday morning, we JUST got word that all forms and processes are updated and every kind of return can now be handled by their systems.