Here are the answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions our firm receives.
A: The information found on this website is general in nature and may not apply to the reader’s situation. Therefore, the reader should not rely on the information on this website alone. For specific advice, please contact us at Pamela J. Craine, C.P.A. Thank you.
Q: Do I need to visit your office to have my taxes prepared?
A: We definitely prefer to meet you in person, especially if you are a new client, but in today’s technologically advanced world, we certainly accept scanned and faxed documents to use in the preparation of your return. Upon the completion of your return, we can also accept fax copies of signed returns for the purpose of electronic filing. There are additional fees for us to mail you your completed return if you do not visit our office. And we do have to receive your payment before we can efile or mail your return.
Q: I currently use an outside payroll service, and, frankly, have not been pleased for various reasons. What alternatives do I have?
A: We have several options to assist you with your payroll. Please call us for the details.
Q: Can I deduct student loan interest?
A: Since personal interest is generally non-deductible must meet several tests: You must be the person liable on the debt and the loan must be for education only. Your income can’t exceed $130,000 on a joint return or $65,000 on a single return; married couple filing separately can’t deduct. You can’t deduct if you’re claimed as a dependent.
Q: Can I ever save tax by filing a separate return instead of jointly with my spouse?
A: You sometimes may benefit from filing separately instead of jointly. Consider filing separately if you meet the following criteria: One spouse has large medical expenses, miscellaneous itemized deductions, or casualty losses. The spouses’ incomes are about equal. Separate filing may benefit such couples because the adjusted gross income “floors” for taking the listed deductions will be computed separately. For a small form fee, we can calculate your return both ways.
Q: Is there any non-tax record that I should keep?
A: There are other records you should keep, even though they don’t appear to have any use for your tax returns. Family documents, certain medical records, insurance policies, records of major purchases, are just a few examples. These documents will be needed in the case of any emergency that may arise.
Q: Should I keep my old tax returns? If so, for how long?
A: Yes, you should keep your old tax returns for at least 7 years. When a return contains information pertaining to the basis of property owned, it should be kept until that property is sold. One of the benefits of keeping your tax returns from year to year is, that you can look at last year’s return while preparing this years. If you do throw out an old return you may fill out form 4506, Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Form, and send it to the IRS service center where you filed your return.
Q: What pieces of paper do I need to keep in order to do my taxes?
A: Keep detailed records of your income, expenses, and any other information you report on your tax return. A good set of records can help you save money when you do your taxes and will be a trusty ally in case you are audited.
Q: How do I know when certain taxes are due?
A: You can give us a call or check out the Due Date Calendar on this website.