Frequently Asked Questions
Are you accepting new clients? Yes. We are currently accepting new clients who want help with tax planning and preparation.
What are the dates I need to know for tax preparation? We need your tax information no later than March 20 so we can file your individual return or extension by April15. If we find that we need additional information at that time it could delay the completion of the return. Corporate returns are due March 15th so we would need your information no later than the end of February.
Where are you located? We are in the heart of Ridgecrest, CA at 115 N. Balsam Street, Suite B. Our office is upstairs. If you find the stairs to difficult then we would be happy to make other arrangements. We can always meet you downstairs in the lobby or at another convenientlocation. I’m a big fan of coffee anytime!
I do not live near Ridgecrest, CA. Can I still work with you? Yes. I have clients in Texas, Kentucky, Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, Virginia and California. We do everything via internet, fax, phone and regular mail. We have implemented a program called E-Organizer that allows some of our clients to input or download some of their information and then submit directly to our office. It is not a requirement but our clients that have used it have given good reviews.
Do you offer payroll and bookkeeping services? Yes. Our software of choice is Intuit’s Quick Books for payroll and bookkeeping. Quick Books keeps our payroll schedules up to date and accurate for both Federal and State withholding and deposit requirements.
What are your fees for tax preparation? Individual Income Tax returns plus one state start at $330 which includes Schedule B Interest and Dividends and Schedule A Itemized Deductions. Additional fees apply if you own rental property or a small business. We do our best to keep your cost low. If you are well organized then we can be more efficient. I take that into consideration on your final bill. Of course if you are unorganized then I have to take that into consideration too!!!
What are your fees for business clients? With my business clients I like to determine a fee for the year and set up monthly payments. This method seems to work well for all of us. It spreads out the cash flow and we both can budget effectively. Included in the fee are unlimited phone calls but we also get together several times a year. I like to meet at least quarterly so we can talk about the business, and what the owner is trying to accomplish. A little strategic planning and follow up goes a long way. They like to tell me about their success and they know I am watching!
What is the earliest I can have my return prepared? Generally the IRS will begin accepting e-filed returns by mid January.
Can I call you anytime? Yes. I wish you would! Included in your fee for tax preparation is unlimited phone calls throughout the year. Wow! Why would I do that? Because I want you to call me without the fear of getting “nickel and dimed” for every call. If you have a tax question I would rather find out about it before you complete the transaction than after year end when we can’t do anything to change the tax consequences of your choice. If I can’t answer the question quickly and must do additional research then we can arrange for an additional agreement at that time.
What about year-end tax planning? This can be in the form of a phone call which is included in your fee from the prior year. New clients will need to set up an appointment. The fee will be $175 for the first hour. If we decide to work together the fee will be applied to the tax preparation fee. For those of you in need of some intense tax planning we can set up an appointment and go from there. Sometimes all we really need to do is talk about the best strategy. Sometimes we may want to call in the experts such as an estate planning attorney and or your financial planner. Whatever we decide you can always count on a blunt and honest answer from me.
Do you e-file? Yes, that is the preferred method and it is greener! We can paper file if necessary.
Do you accept credit card payments? We accept Master Card, Visa, Discover and American Express as well as your bank debit card. Quick Books is also set up for online payments. Instructions are printed on each invoice. Or if you are set up on a monthly fee I have found that just setting up an automatic payment with your bank is the easiest. I do that with all my recurring bills. Then I don’t have to stop and write a check! Yeah!
When should I contact you for tax preparation? The earlier the better even if you are missing a few things. We can drop those in once you get them. You have several options for getting your information to us. You can drop it off at the office at 115 N Balsam Street, fax to 760-495-9171, mail to PO Box 433, Ridgecrest, CA 93556 or e-mail a pdf file to Barb@agertoncpa.com. We have implemented an e-organizer for our prior year clients. Several people have tried it and are pleased with how easy it was to drop in their numbers. I still want to see the original documents so you will need to get those to me. After we receive your information we will input to our tax preparation system and call you with any questions we may have. Once the return is complete we will call you to let you know it is ready and arrange to either mail it to you or you can stop by and pick it up. If it you would like to sit down with either Barbara or Kim we can schedule a time. That is of course included in your fee.
What is your mailing address? Mail should be sent to PO Box 433, Ridgecrest, CA 93556
How long will it take for my tax return to be completed? Our goal is to have your return completed as soon as possible. Of course that depends on several factors. The main reason for delay in processing is missing information. Once we have all of the necessary information your return will be completed. Sometimes it is completed the same day and others it may take several weeks.
What is an Enrolled Agent? An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a tax professional who has passed a difficult exam administered by the Internal Revenue Service covering all areas of taxation. Like CPAs and attorneys, Enrolled Agents are able to represent taxpayers before the IRS regarding notices, audits, and other issues. This means that with your written permission, our enrolled agents can interact directly with the IRS to resolve any problems that come up.
What is a CPA? A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a professional who has a bachelor’s degree usually in business. Many states also require a master’s degree or MBA. Then they pass the four part CPA exam. And after all of that they must have 1 to 2 years of work experience in public accounting before they are licensed to practice as a Certified Public Accountant or CPA.
Can you help me if I get audited? Yes, we will respond to any notice you may receive from the IRS. Generally these notices are easy to respond to and don’t require a full blown audit. We charge an hourly rate for these responses.
Do you have a guarantee? Yes. We guarantee the accuracy of your return. If we make a mistake on your return we will pay any penalty or interest that accrues because of our mistake. You will be required to pay the tax that would have been due on the corrected return.
How long have you been in business? Tax Time opened its doors in 2005. Barbara Agerton is a Certified Public Accountant working in Federal and State tax since 1987.