© 2014 by Veritas Tax Service

FAQs

Refunds

Where is my refund?

Most people receive their feeral tax refunds within 9 to 21 days of electronically filing. If you want to check on the status of your refund, there are two easy ways to do that:

 

  1. Go to the IRS website and on the left side of the page click the link, "Where is my refund." Make sure you have the SSN of the primary taxpayer, the filing status (single, married, etc...), and the exact amount of your federal refund.

  2. Call 1-800-829-1040 and follow the prompts to talk about "My Tax Account." You will still need the primary SSN, filing status, and refund amount.

 

** Note that you should wait at least 72 hours (3 days) from the date your preparer electronically filed your tax return to use either of the above options. Sooner than that and the IRS may not have had time to process your return yet.

Why is my tax refund taking so long? What can I do to speed up the process?

Remember that it can take up to 21 days for the IRS to process a return and issue a refund. We usually recomment being patient and checking the IRS website perioudically to figure out where they are with the process. Here are some normal reasons why it might take a little longer than usual.

 

  • Sometimes your return takes a little longer than normal to be accepted into the IRS system for processing. Remember that the countdown starts once the IRS has accepted your electronically filed return. If there were any errors with filing status or name/SSN matching on your return, that could delay things by a day or two. Also, sometimes the IRS has to deal with unusually high volumes. This too could delay the acceptance of your return.

  • It can take a few days, depending on your refund method, for your money to get from the IRS to you. A direct bank deposit is generally the fastest method, taking mere hours. If you chose to receive a paper check in the mail, remember to allow a few extra days for the mail to get to you. Finally, if you chose to have fees taken from the refund, a third-party processor manages your funds dispersal, which can also take a day or so.

 

** Please do not call us unless you have checked the IRS website and waited at least 21 days. There is nothing we can do as the IRS will not take a call from either of us about your refund until a certain amount of time has elapsed.

The IRS website says my refund is being delayed. Does that mean I am being audited?!?

No. It simply means that your return was selected for additional scrutiny. This usually happens for a reason, but it can also be completely random. Just write down everything the website says and follow the instructions. If you call us to help you with it, be sure to have this information ready.

 

Please remember that this is usually no big deal and you did not necessarily do anything wrong. For example, in one case a client was getting the Earned Income Tax Credit and one of her qualifying children had a different last name. There are all sorts of valid reasons for this. However, because this is sometimes an indicator of fraud or ID theft, the IRS selected her for some extra questions. She faxed them a couple of documents and got her refund within two weeks. In another case, a client couple adopted a special needs child. Because this qualifies for the maximum adoption credit, it's an area that gets abused a lot. The IRS asked for some adoption paperwork, the clients faxed it to them, and then got their refund within three weeks. In neither of these cases was the taxpayer at fault. However, because their tax situations were statistically likely to be similar to those used by some criminals, the IRS selected them for slightly closer scrutiny. Most of the time, this is why this happens; and most of the time, these issues are resolved quickly and painlessly.

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Filing Your Taxes

How do I schedule an appointment?

Call our office (918) 858-0930, or use our contact. If you are in the Tulsa/Broken Arrow, OK area or one of the selected nearby areas to which we travel, we will try to set up a face-to-face appointment with you. Appointments fill up quickly so please allow two to three weeks of planning. If you are outside of these areas, we will let you know the procedure of getting us your tax documents. Please never send original documents as we cannot guarantee they won't get lost in the mail. Once we have all of the documents, please understand that the turn around is at least 2 weeks to get it prepared and filed. We have many out of state clients. 

I am mailing/faxing/emailing in my tax return. What do I need to send?

Please contact us and we will send you the list of documents that we need. 

I am have a face-to-face appointment. What do I need to bring?

Please contact us and we will send you the list of documents that we need. 

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Extensions

Do I need to file an extension?

If you are not able to file your individual tax return filed by April 15th, you should probably file an extension. When an extension is filed, you have until OCTOBER 15th to file your tax return before any late-filing penalties or interest begins to accrue. If you know for certain that you are receiving a refund, you do not necessarily need to file an extension (as there aren’t any penalties and interest regardless of when you file); however, we recommend filing one anyway. Extensions extend your filing deadline, which can be important for a number of reasons besides just avoiding late-filing penalties. To file an extension, just call our office at (918) 858-0930 or use our contact form.  Please be sure to include the following the information when you contact us:

 

  • Your full name, as it appears on your Social Security card (and your spouse’s name, if applicable)

  • Your Social Security Number (and your spouse’s Social Security Number, if applicable)

  • Your mailing address

  • Your phone number

  • (Optional) – Any amount you might want to pay with your extension.  Unless you are self-employed or usually owe taxes, this will probably not apply to you.

I owe taxes, but if I file an extension, I won’t have to pay penalties and interest, right?

Yes and no. By filing an extension postmarked by April 15th, you may avoid Failure-To-File Penalties and the associated interest. That said, there is NO way to avoid Failure-To-Pay Penalties and interest. This is why we recommend that, if you know or suspect that you are going to owe taxes, you estimate your taxes owed and pay that amount with your extension. If you aren't sure how much taxes you will owe, we can help you estimate them.  Just call us at (918) 858-0930.

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IRS Issues

I received a letter from the IRS. What do I do?!

If you ever receive a letter from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

 

1.  READ IT.  Most IRS letters are not necessarily bad.  While it can be scary seeing a letter from the IRS in your mailbox, most of the time it’s some mundane issue that you can handle yourself with a phone call.  Anything you can handle yourself saves you money you would otherwise have to pay to someone else.

 

2.  FAX or EMAIL it to our office and THEN call us.  PLEASE don’t call us before you send us the letter you received!  Unless we can see the letter for ourselves, we can’t tell you what the IRS wants.  

Why am I getting audited?!

It’s hard to say for sure.  The IRS examination selection process is sometimes random.  Most of the time, however, it’s caused by an “unusual” situation on your tax return.  It’s not an accusation of wrongdoing.  It is simply the IRS saying, “We noticed that your tax return was unusual in some ways.  We would like you to clarify some things for us.”  Here are a couple of examples:

 

  • ·         John is a self-employed real estate salesman.  He earned $15,000 in commissions and drove 28,000 business miles during the year.  All of the above might be true, yet this return has a higher than usual chance of being audited.  The reason is that the mileage is unusually high for the amount of commissions John received.  There are lots of valid reasons that this might have been the case.  In John’s case, he covered a very large area to obtain new listings, which led to very high mileage.  At the same time, several closings fell through and he had a bad year with commissions.  Everything is true—simply unusual.  In this case the IRS would want some sort of documentation proving his mileage and commission income.

  • ·         Donna sold some stocks in 2014.  Her broker reported the basis of the stocks incorrectly on Form 1099-B (which can happen for several reasons).  When filing her taxes, Donna reported the correct basis on her Schedule D.  This return has a higher than usual chance of being audited because most of the time, broker calculations of basis are correct.  The fact that Donna is correct in this case is unusual, and the IRS might decide to examine the return to determine if Donna’s basis calculation was accurate.  In this case the IRS would probably want historical stock prices along with documentation showing how she initially obtained the stock.

So I’m getting audited. Can Veritas represent me with the IRS?

Yes we can!  At Veritas we often represent our clients when they get audited.  However, please keep the following in mind:

 

  • The cost of representing you in an examination (audit) is completely separate from the fee you paid us to prepare your return.  The vast majority of tax returns are accepted as filed.  Occasionally, for many reasons, including those noted above, a taxpayer’s return is selected for examination.  Unless the audit is the result of a math error or a preparer error, we charge a standard hourly rate for IRS representation.

  • You can keep the cost of representation down (and prevent the chance of an examination altogether) by maintaining good documentation and final records.  The less time and money you need to spend putting this information together, the cheaper and quicker your audit will be.

  • You can keep the cost of an examination down by doing much of the work yourself.  Most audits are pretty straightforward.  The IRS will let you know what they want you to prove.  If you need to add up receipts for business meals, your calculator works just as well as ours does.  The more ground work you are willing to perform, the less time we will have to charge you for.

  • Lastly, we reserve the right to refuse to represent anyone for any reason.  Bear in mind that this rarely happens.  When we do have to decline to be a taxpayer’s representative, it is usually because of one of the following reasons:

    • Unfeasibility:  Given time constraints, number of ongoing cases, or general scope of the audit, we don’t believe that we can represent you effectively.  Some examinations are quite comprehensive.  Because we want to make sure that we perform our best work for all of our clients, we will occasionally decline an examination with short deadlines that begins during a tax season, when we already have too many large ongoing projects to service and additional project adequately, or when we feel that you would be better represented by an attorney or other agency.

    • Unsuitability:  When we prepare your taxes, we generally take you at your word regarding most deductions and other tax attributes.  If in the course of an examination, it becomes clear that a taxpayer hasn’t been truthful with us regarding information on their tax return, we generally refuse to represent that taxpayer before the IRS.

    • Bad Faith:  As mentioned above, we take taxpayers at their word unless we have reason to believe otherwise.  That is, we give you the benefit of the doubt.  We at Veritas expect the same courtesy.  We understand that audits are stressful.  However, when a taxpayer treats one of our staff members with belligerence, hostility, or verbal abuse, we generally refuse to continue to provide services for that taxpayer. Just remember to take a deep breath and that we are all on the same team!

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