Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

What are your hours?

Our services are by appointment only, but our office is regularly staffed from January 6th to April 15th, Monday-Saturday, 10AM – 6PM if you need to drop documents (or snacks) off. However, we are available to meet clients year-round–just make an appointment!

Call or email to make an appointment, or go directly to our scheduling page here.

 

 

Do you offer a free consultation?

Yes! We provide 30-minute in-person consultations. If you like, you can also have a free 15-minute phone consultation. Schedule an appointment with us here.

During the consultation, we will listen to your tax concerns, outline a general action plan if we are a good fit for you, and provide a price range. However, we are not able to offer specific tax advice or tailored guidance until you become a client.

 

 

Is there any cost up front?

We do charge a $25 nonrefundable deposit for new clients for timely tax preparation. This deposit will be subtracted from your final bill once your return is complete.

*Cryptocurrency clients must pay in full prior to us starting work.

For extensions (filing your return after April 15th), we charge a $50 nonrefundable deposit for all clients. This deposit will be subtracted from your final bill once your return is complete.

Your deposit can be paid in person, via phone, or on our portal page here.

 

 

How do I pay?

We accept most major credit/debit cards, checks, 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 also offer refund transfer services for clients who qualify. These services allow you to pay your prep fees through your refund.

Fees must be paid before we will file your return.

 

 

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

Starting in tax year 2019, we are offering a refund transfer option, where you can pay your prep fees from your refund. There is a $63.90 fee for this service.

**The $25 non-refundable deposit is still required.**

Don’t want to pay extra fees? In most cases, we can also 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 our work until payment is rendered. *This does not apply to crypto returns. They must be paid in full before work commences.

 

 

How do I send you my documents? 

Our secure portal for document sharing can be found here.

You can also drop them off at our office at 13228 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, FL 34609 during our posted office hours. After hours, you can drop them off in our secure lockbox outside our office door.

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

 

 

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 dropbox at our office, send them via our secure portal, or fax them to us at (833) 203-3511.

 

 

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 a refund when you amend your return, the IRS will mail a paper check instead of direct deposit.

 

 

Do you prepare unfiled returns for previous years?

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.

 

 

Is there an additional charge to add up receipts, business expenses, 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 an excessive amount of receipts/expenses, we will charge an hourly rate of $100 per hour for bookkeeping.

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.

 

 

Do you prepare extensions?

Yes! We do charge a $50 non-refundable deposit for extensions, but this fee will be deducted from your bill if you file your return with us.

 

 

How does remote tax preparation work? 

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

 

 

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

Yes! We leverage a comprehensive internet security suite, and your documents are stored electronically after preparation is complete. We also use a secure online portal for document transfer.

 

 

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

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

**Your Zoom meeting may be recorded for quality and training purposes.

 

 

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

You do not need to have video enabled for Zoom to work, as it permits traditional voice conferencing. However, 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.

 

 

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.

 

 

How do cryptocurrency tax preparation services work?

Cryptocurrency returns are very similar to traditional tax returns with the exception of the reconciliation of your crypto activity. Since crypto reconciliation can be an arduous and lengthy process, crypto returns must be paid in full prior to us commencing work. Once paid, we enter your transactions into our reconciliation software and reconcile your trades and transactions. Any mining/staking activity and other crypto activity will also be addressed. 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.

 

 

What is an audit? What happens if I get audited or receive other communication from a tax authority?

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 or receive other similar correspondence from a tax authority, 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

 

 

Do you offer representation services?

Yes. Representation services for an audit or other tax issues can be provided. This service is offered on a case-by-case basis, and a retainer will be required. Fees typically start at $100 per hour.

However, we also offer audit and tax fraud assistance service through our partnership with Protection Plus. There is a $64.95 fee for this service, and it must be purchased when we file your return. Ask your preparer for details if you are interested in this service.

 

 

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.