Frequently asked questions
ARE THERE DEADLINES FOR FILING MY TAX RETURNS?
Remembering important tax deadlines can be key to avoiding costly mistakes down the road. If a deadline falls on a weekend, the deadline will automatically be extended to the following Monday. In addition, if you are unable to meet a deadline, you may be able to petition for a 6-month extension or a 5-month extension for LLC returns. Tax return deadlines in the State of California are as follows: W-2 and 1099 Forms – Must be mailed by employers before January 31st Personal Returns – April 15th Business Returns – March 15th Partnership and LLC Returns – April 15th Self-Employed Tax Returns for Business Tax Renewal – Last day of February Employer Payroll Forms & Taxes – Required every quarter on April 30th, July 31st, October 31st, and January 31st
WHAT RECORDS SHOULD I KEEP ALONG WITH MY TAX RETURNS, AND HOW LONG DO I NEED TO KEEP THEM?
In the event that any of your tax deductions should be questioned, having proof of documentation will be key to avoiding serious inspections or audits. We suggest that our clients always keep records of bank statements, credit card statements, cancelled checks, invoices, and receipts. Mileage logs, meal expenses, and other records for business purposes can also be important. Donations or non-cash contributions, such as clothes or other property, should be verified with proof of receipt or acknowledgement letters from charities.
CAN I CHECK THE STATUS OF MY TAX REFUND?
Certainly! There are many ways to check the status of a refund. Due to the processing timeframe in California, you may receive your state tax refund within 7 to 10 business days if you filed your return online, or 8 to 12 weeks if you mailed your return. You can access your refund status on many different platforms, including the State of California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) or through theInternal Revenue Service (IRS).
WHY SHOULD I HIRE A TAX PREPARER?
Very few people actually enjoy filing their own taxes. Even with the help of computer software programs, the risk of running into problems still exists. In addition, computer software programs are not formulated to take into account special circumstances or your unique financial portfolio. Not only are we prepared, trained, and licensed to take on complex tax issues, but we also offer personal and ethical tax services that can help our clients maximize their returns while minimizing the risk of unnecessary IRS involvement.
CAN I RECEIVE A TAX RETURN IF I AM CURRENTLY MAKING PAYMENTS UNDER AN INSTALLED AGREEMENT OR PAYMENT PLAN FOR ANOTHER FEDERAL TAX PERIOD?
No, one of the conditions of your installment agreement is that the IRS will automatically apply any refund due to you against taxes you owe. Because your refund isn’t applied toward your regular monthly payment, continue making your installment agreement payments as scheduled. If your refund exceeds your total balance due on all outstanding liabilities including accruals, and you don’t owe certain past-due amounts, such as federal tax, state tax, a student loan, or child support, you’ll receive a refund of the amount over and above what you owe. For more information on these non-IRS refund offsets, you can call the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS) at 800-304-3107 (toll-free).
TO QUALIFY FOR HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD FILING STATUS, DO I HAVE TO CLAIM MY CHILD AS A DEPENDENT?
Generally, to qualify for head of household filing status, you must have a qualifying child or a dependent. However, a custodial parent may be eligible to claim head of household filing status based on a child even if he or she released a claim to exemption for the child. See Noncustodial parent is claiming an exemption for my child; do I still qualify as head of household?
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I MADE A MISTAKE A FEDERAL RETURN I’VE ALREADY FILED?
It depends on the type of mistake you made: Many mathematical errors are caught during the processing of the tax return and corrected by the IRS, so you may not need to correct these mistakes. If you didn’t claim the correct filing status or you need to change your income, deductions, or credits, you should file an amended or corrected return using Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. When filing an amended or corrected return: Include copies of any forms and/or schedules that you’re changing or didn’t include with your original return. To avoid delays, file Form 1040X only after you’ve filed your original return. Generally, for a credit or refund, you must file Form 1040X within 3 years after the date you timely filed your original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. Allow the IRS up to 16 weeks to process the amended return.