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Frequently Asked Questions for Individuals and Families

When can I file my personal tax return?

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The  Internal Revenue Service confirmed that the nation’s tax season will  start for individual tax return filers on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2019  tax year returns. 

The deadline to file 2019 tax returns and pay any tax owed is Wednesday, April 15, 2020.  More than 150 million individual tax returns for the 2019 tax year are  expected to be filed, with the vast majority of those  coming before the traditional April tax deadline.  

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said  “We  encourage taxpayers to plan ahead. The IRS and the nation's tax  community are committed to making this another smooth filing season."  "The IRS encourages everyone  to consider filing electronically and choosing direct deposit,”

What information is needed to file?

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 In order to file your tax return, we will need your basic information about yourself, spouse and dependents.  This will include name, address, social security numbers, birth dates and your driver’s license information all of which can be securely submitted with us as a preferred client. 

Do you need a copy of my prior year’s return?

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Yes, we would like to have a copy of your previous year’s return.  We look for areas to maximize your tax refund. Utilizing your previous tax return, we are able to ask questions about things that might have changed or may have been forgotten about from one year to the next. 

On the side income

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Report all self-employed income. Side hustles are common these days, and some people don't realize that the government doesn't take any taxes from these earnings -- but that doesn't mean you don't owe anything. It's your responsibility to report all self-employed income you earned throughout the year, even if you never received a 1099 for your services. Set aside the government's cut of your earnings. Failure to do so could result in an audit if the government catches wind. 

If you earn a substantial amount of side income or if you're fully self-employed, you'll have to pay quarterly estimated taxes. These are due the 15th of April, June, September and January of the following year. We can review your prior-year tax return to tell you how much will be required each quarter. You could pay a penalty if you don't pay at least the amount listed on your prior tax return or 90% of your tax liability, whichever is less, or if you end up owing more than $1,000 in taxes at the end of the year. Let us do the calculating for you so you can avoid unexpected surprises.

Consider opening a separate savings account and setting aside money weekly or monthly to keep your tax money separate from the rest of your earnings. By depositing a regular amount, you will have enough by the estimated tax due dates.

A good thing about being self-employed is you can to write off business-related expenses, like supplies, business travel, or a home office. You need receipts or bills proving these expenses in order to claim them as deductions. Keep all this paperwork together so you don't have to search for it at tax time. If you don't want all the paperwork cluttering up your home, scan them into your computer to make is simpler to send to us.