The following Q&A describes our 2021 tax filing process in detail.
Your cooperation is greatly appreciated and necessary as we continue to navigate this pandemic and work to keep everyone healthy.
Q: How will I communicate my tax situation to the office?
We have adopted a technology platform, Canopy, that includes a secure client portal for the electronic sharing of documents for those that wish to take advantage. While we recommend clients take advantage of the Canopy portal, it is not mandatory, and physical paper documents can still be shared via delivery services or dropped in our secure drop box located adjacent to our parking lot.
One significant feature that Canopy offers is an interactive tax organizer. The Canopy organizer is really easy to use; guides you through providing critical information detailing your specific tax situation. If you are only comfortable with physical documents, we will provide a paper organizer to you upon your request, that when completed, will provide the critical information needed for us to thoroughly understand your tax situation.
Our organizers (virtually via Canopy or manually on paper) will help you provide us with the necessary documents and details so that we can prepare the most advantageous tax return for you. Whether you choose to use Canopy or paper, it is crucial that you accurately complete one or the other.
Q: Where is the office; how should I mail and/or deliver tax documents?
We have moved! Physically we are located at 69 South Main Street, Mullica Hill (look for our blue and white sign). Our main office is a second-floor suite with first-floor meeting availability by appointment only. We are located directly above the offices of J. Downs Law.
Please note that our by appointment only regulation is strict as we are now sharing office space.
How to deliver items to our office:
Please use the secure Canopy portal to upload your documents (if you need to establish a Canopy portal, please call the office at 856-478-0770, ext 101, or email email@example.com)
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
Joan W. Halter, CPA
P.O. Box 99
Mullica Hill, NJ 08062
UPS / FEDEX / DROPOFF
Joan W. Halter, CPA
69 S. Main St., Suite B
Mullica Hill, NJ 08062
We continue to maintain our secure drop box located adjacent to our parking area, for in-person drop-off.
Q: Are in-office appointments available?
For the 2021 tax year, we will not be offering in-person office appointments. However, if you have experienced a “life-changing” event (e.g., birth, marriage, death, purchased/sold a property, started/closed a business, etc) you can schedule a phone conference with me to discuss the details and the impact on your tax situation.
Q: What is Halter CPA’s internal deadline for submitting my tax documents?
Resource management challenges during the pandemic necessitate detailed planning. To that end, we are requesting that clients submit their “complete” documents no later than March 21, 2022. We will be completing returns in the order in which they are received. Please note that “received” means that we have received ALL documents necessary to prepare your return*. We will inform you if it is necessary to file for an extension of the 4/18/22 deadline.
*If you typically have 1 or 2 documents that always arrive late (e.g., brokerage statements or K1s), please submit all other documents when complete with a note detailing what is missing.
Q: How can I manage my fees and expedite processing?
You impact your preparation fee. Incomplete tax document submissions, extraneous documents, and disorganized submissions drive the expense of return preparation beyond our base fees. We offer the following tips to assist in managing your fee:
- Use the Canopy tax organizer. This provides you an opportunity to capture tax information not associated with an IRS Form (e.g., child/dependent care, residential energy credits, electric vehicle credits, property damage, charity, medical, real estate taxes, etc.) and the checklist provided with the Engagement Letter, this provides you an inventory of documents used to prepare your prior year. “Missing Information” results in extra emails, phone calls, follow up, and overall extra time to prepare your return. Avoid “Missing Information” by ensuring a complete tax document package (see Item 3).
- The documents we need to prepare your return include any and all documents with an IRS form designation number (e.g., W-2, 1099, 1098, 5498, SSA-1099, etc.) and/or IRS notice number.
A document may say “Important Tax Document” but unless it has a form or notice designation, it is not necessary for the preparation of your return, and it clutters your file which adds to the fee. (e.g., year-end statements)
- Ensure your tax document submission includes: your completed organizer and only those documents with form and/or numbers described above. Please open and discard envelopes and remove staples. Having us “open the mail”, sort non-tax documents, remove staples, etc. all increase the time it takes us (and therefore the fee) to prepare your return.
- Monitor your email during preparation and respond timely to requests.
Q: How will Halter CPA communicate with me during my tax preparation?
We will be communicating with you during the tax preparation process via Canopy and/or email. Please ensure we have your “best” email address when completing the packet and be sure to monitor that address often while we are preparing your return.
Q: How will I receive my prepared tax return from Halter CPA?
FOR CLIENTS UTILIZING THE CANOPY PORTAL, we will upload your returns for your review, acceptance, and signature. Also uploaded will be the e-file authorization forms. You will receive an email invoice for our professional services. Upon our receipt of the signed documents and payment, we will e-file your return(s). You will be notified by email of the acceptance of your electronically filed return(s).
***NOTE: The IRS requires us to e-file returns within 10 days of processing. This helps to aid in the prevention of identity theft. After 10 days, additional steps must be taken to re-validate your return for e-filing. This will result in an additional $25 fee.***
FOR CLIENTS THAT HAVE SELECTED TO RECEIVE PAPER DOCUMENTS, we will be utilizing the USPS Priority Service with “Tracking” to deliver the returns for your review, acceptance, and signature. We will notify you via email of the mailing date and tracking number of your package. Upon our receipt of the signed documents and payment, we will e-file your return(s). You will be notified by email of the acceptance of your electronically filed return.
***NOTE: The IRS requires us to e-file returns within 10 days of processing. This helps to aid in the prevention of identity theft. After 10 days, additional steps must be taken to re-validate your return for e-filing. This will result in an additional $25 fee.
Q: How do I receive and pay my invoice?
We prefer electronic payments* but also accept cash, check and money orders. We no longer accept credit cards.
*To pay electronically, click “view invoice” and then click “make a payment.” You will then be prompted to enter your banking information.
Should you have additional questions about our 2021 tax filing procedures, Michele D’Agostino is available to help Monday-Friday 9am-4pm. Her direct contact is 856-478-0770 ext.101.
We thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation in helping us keep our community healthy.