Frequently Asked Questions

 

1) How does remote tax preparation work? 

It’s very similar to in-person preparation. Click here for details.

 

2) Is remote tax preparation safe? How do you safeguard against identity theft?

Yes! We use firewalls and antivirus software, and your documents are stored electronically after preparation is complete. We also use ShareFile for secure document transfer.

Additionally, we do not sell or share your information with anyone unless you give specific permission. We hate spam email and junk mail too.

 

3) Why should I opt for virtual (or traditional) tax preparation through First Response Tax Service versus doing it myself?

When you choose First Response Tax Service, you can be confident that a trained professional is preparing your taxes.

Your taxes will be prepared by an Enrolled Agent, a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by demonstrating special competence in tax matters via a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.

Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights. This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before.

 

4) Do you offer a free consultation?

Yes! We provide free one hour consultations.

 

5) How do the cryptocurrency tax preparation services work?

Crypto returns are very similar to traditional tax returns with the exception of the capital gains/losses. In order to minimize your capital gains by the largest extent legally possible, we maintain affiliate partnerships with industry-leading cryptocurrency reconciliation specialists. We will help you import your transactions into our reconciliation software and reconcile your trades and transactions. Once the reconciliation is complete, your activity will be entered on Forms 8949 (and any other required forms) and we will complete your return as normal.

 

6) How do I send you my documents? What forms do you need?

We use ShareFile for document sharing. After you contact us, we will email you a link so you can log in to your own secure portal. Fill out the forms attached to your email, include it with your other required documents, and you’re good to go!

We can also accept documents via our secure fax line: (833) 203-3511.

Some of the documents you may need to send are:

1) Copy of previous year’s federal and state (if applicable) tax return
2) Copy of voided check for direct deposit
3) Copy of government-issued ID for taxpayer and spouse (if applicable)
4) Any and ALL 1095 (Affordable care Act) forms you received
5) Social Security Cards for dependents
6) Your Social Security Cards

**This list is not exhaustive, and more documents may be needed depending on your individual situation.

 

7) How safe is ShareFile?

Very. Check out this infographic for more information.

 

8) Can I mail you my documents?

Yes, but please understand there will be some lag time due to snail mail. We recommend using a certified, trackable form of shipment.

 

9) How does the video chat work (for remote preparation)? Do I need to buy special software?

All you need is a computer! We will send you a link to our personal Zoom meeting room.

 

10) What if I can’t participate in a video chat session (for remote preparation)?

We will be happy to have a phone conference instead. Please be aware that we may need a second form of identification (passport, Social Security Card, previous-year tax return, etc.) to verify your identity since we can’t see you in person.

 

11) I can’t afford to pay for tax prep up front. What can I do?

In most cases, we can prepare your return and file an extension request for you. We will hold off on e-filing until you are able to pay for the return. Please note, we will not be able to give you a copy of your return or our workpapers until payment is rendered. *This does not apply to crypto returns. They must be paid in full before work commences.

 

12) What is the average turnaround time?

We request that you drop off/send us your documents at least two days prior to your appointment. This allows us to complete data entry and address any tax issues you may be facing. You can give us your documents in person, place them in our secure drop box at our office, send them via our ShareFile link, or fax them to us at (833) 203-3511.

 

13) How do I sign my tax return if I’m getting it done virtually?

First Response Tax Service is an Electronic Return Originator (ERO), so we use the IRS Practitioner PIN method which allows our software to automatically to generate a PIN for you in lieu of a signature. We find that this method streamlines the process for you. We will need you to sign and return Form 8879 – IRS e-file Signature Authorization before we can submit your return to the IRS, however.

 

14) Will my taxes be electronically filed/e-filed?

Yes, we will e-file all taxes except for amended returns and returns involving special situations. If you are expecting money when you amend your return, the IRS will mail a paper check instead of direct deposit.

 

15) What is an IRS audit? What happens if I get audited?

According to the IRS, an audit is a review/examination of an organization’s or individual’s accounts and financial information to ensure information is being reported correctly, according to the tax laws, to verify the amount of tax reported is accurate.

First Response Tax Service offers free Audit Guidance with every paid tax return that we prepare. If you are audited, we will:

  • Review the audit documents and explain what they mean
  • Provide guidance on how to gather records for your tax audit
  • Assess the tax audit findings and explain them
  • Provide guidance on the appeal process and other options available to you, if applicable

Representation services for the audit can be provided. This service is offered on a case-by-case basis, and a retainer will be required.

 

16) Do you offer any guarantees on your services?

Yes, we do offer a free accuracy guarantee! We guarantee that if you incur penalties or interest on a tax return due to a mistake we made, we will pay the applicable penalties and interest. Please see our guarantee page for further information.

 

17) Do you prepare unfiled returns for previous years?

In most cases, yes. Please contact us for a consultation, as the fees may be different from what is reported on the fees page, and a retainer may be required.

 

18) Do you charge extra to add up receipts for itemized deductions, etc?

It depends. If you hand us a few receipts and bills, we have no problem doing the legwork for you. However, if you have a an excessive amount of receipts/expenses, we will charge an hourly rate of $75 per hour to calculate these receipts.

If you want to avoid this fee, please completely fill out the organizers we send you. There are several forms available for you to enter your expenses depending on your individual tax situation.

 

19) Do you prepare extensions?

Yes! We do charge for extensions, but this charge will be deducted from your fees when you pay to file your return with us.

 

20) How do I pay?

We accept most major credit/debit cards and cash in our office. To protect against identity theft, we request that the cardholder be a party to any credit/debit card transactions.

We do accept checks, however, we will not e-file the return until your check clears.

Fees must be paid before we will file your return.

 

21) What are your hours?

It depends. When do you need us? Our services are by appointment only, and we normally see clients from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Saturday. However, we can be more flexible in special circumstances. Contact us, and we will do our best to work with you!

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