- How do you charge for
Rates start at $95 including E-File. This includes federal,
one state, one city or village return, and one Ohio school tax
return. Additional rates do apply for additional schedules and
forms. On average the rate per return with just a handful of
less complex schedules runs $155-$160. 1040 EZ returns with
no more than 2 W-2s and 30 minutes of preparation and consulting
time can be prepared for a little as $75 including e-file. Rates
for taxpayer representation are $75 per hour billed ¼
- I hear E-File is now mandatory.
Is that true?
Pretty much. The state of Ohio and the IRS have put in place
regulations stating that any tax accountant who prepares more
than a nominal amount of returns must submit such returns via
E-File. However, taxpayers can opt-out of this requirement with
several signed disclosure forms sent with the return. Generally,
these forms add much more paperwork and time to the process.
We highly encourage E-File of all returns as much as possible.
- I received a 1099-MISC
for work I performed this year. How does this affect me?
Every situation is different, but generally a 1099-MISC form
reports income for services in box 7 as "non-employee compensation".
This type of income MUST be reported on a business schedule
such as Schedule C or C-EZ on the 1040. The income derived must
be taxed for regular income tax as well as self-employment tax.
The Social Security and Medicare tax must be paid at double
the rate of an employee as you are paying your portion as an
"employee to yourself" and as an "employer to
yourself". This tax is computed at the end of the tax return
and can often result in a tax being owed! However, you can claim
expenses occurred in generating this income under the appropriate
- I pulled funds out of
an IRA, 401(k), or other type of a retirement account. I had
20% of taxes withheld, why do I still owe?
Per IRC 72(t) "funds from a qualified retirement account"
can't be disbursed until the age of 59 ½ without being
subject to a 10% tax penalty in addition to "regular income
taxes". There are a few exceptions to this rule, which
can be documented on IRS form 5329. However, often these exceptions
don't apply to most people. Generally the 20% withholding at
the front end of your retirement account distribution just covers
the "regular income tax". The 10% penalty is added
on at the very end of all deductions and computations. This
can be a very painful tax! There are some solutions if you contact
me first before any distribution!
- Do you offer "Rapid
Refund" or "Same Day Tax Refund Loans"?
No! After 20 years in the industry, I stand by one commitment:
I will provide professional, honest and accurate tax preparation
services. This means I strive to reduce your tax liability or
increase your refund as much as legally possible. In many cases,
the interest rates and fees charged for "rapid refund"
do more financial harm to you then the expedited refund check
can cover. Direct Deposit E-File can be as fast as 10 days and
is rarely later than 14 days after filing. E-File via paper
check is generally about 21 days. I believe the costly fees
associated with "rapid refund" just aren't worth it.
You only save 10-21 days off the time you'd normally receive
your refund, anyway.
- I hear it is often better
to file tax returns as Married Filing Separate, is that true?
This can be
true for Ohio residents in the right situation. The tax tables
in Ohio greatly penalize those filing as Married Filing Joint,
especially when husband and wife both work full time and make
about the same income. I can generally tell by looking at your
paperwork if it would make sense to file separate. If it does
look like filing separate is better, a complete and free analysis
is performed. One thing to remember is that many federal deductions
and credits can't be taken if you file separately. In many cases,
it may be better to file a joint return.