FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • How do you charge for your services?

    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 hour increments.
  • 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 circumstances.
  • 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.