As we get closer to the start of the filing season for your 2016 income tax returns, more and more people are starting to ask me questions about how to get ready and what to expect this year.
If you’re looking to get a quick overview of the basics, this is the Q&A for you.
When Will the IRS Start Accepting Tax Returns?
This year, the IRS will start accepting e-filed returns on January 23rd.
When Will I Get My Refund?
Possibly later than you’re used to. The IRS will be delaying some refunds this year in an effort to combat fraud.
Specifically, tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit won’t have their refunds processed before February 15th, and possibly not before the week of February 27th.
Despite the issues with those tax credits, the IRS claims that they expect to issue refunds within 21 days of your e-filed return being accepted into their system for processing at least 90% of the time.
When Should I Schedule My Tax Appointment?
Tax season gets hectic, especially right before the filing deadlines. Once you have your tax forms and info for the year ready, the earlier you can get in to see me, the better off you’ll be.
- You’ll have more appointment times to pick from, so you can select a time to meet that minimizes the disruption to your regular schedule.
- Your return will be “in the front of the line,” so it will get done first, before all the last-minute procrastinators.
- And, if the IRS owes you a refund, you’ll get it sooner.
As a rule of thumb, I advise my clients to set their tax appointment once they’ve received all the tax forms that they’re expecting to receive, and, if they’re a business owner, once their bookkeeping for the year is finished.
If filing your returns without going on extension (or paying extra for a “rush fee”) is important to you, plan on making your appointment at least 3 weeks before the filing deadline.
How Can I Book My Tax Appointment?
You can see my calendar online and pick the time that works best for you by clicking this link, or you can call (541) 639-3598 and my answering service will be happy to set up an appointment for you.
What Do I Need to Bring to My Tax Appointment?
You should bring:
- A copy of your most recently filed tax return
- Your tax forms and info (W2s, 1099s, K-1s, itemized deductions, business income and expenses, etc.)
- Your completed tax organizer.
Do I need to fill out the tax organizer completely?
No. Hardly anyone does. Feel free to use it as a checklist of the different forms and info that you might need to gather for your meeting.
How do I get a tax organizer?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a copy of the tax organizer that I send to all my new clients, for free. Just use “Free Organizer” as the subject line for your email and I’ll shoot it off to you when I get a chance.
What Happens at My Tax Appointment?
When we meet for your tax appointment, first, I’ll take a look at your tax return from last year, and talk through what changes have happened in your situation since then.
Then we’ll go over your tax forms and info and talk about what goals you have coming up for the current year. If you’ve come prepared, I’ll calculate what my fee will be to do your taxes and you can decide to move forward if it seems reasonable.
What Should I Do While You’re Working on My Tax Returns?
Do something fun! You’ll probably still need to go to work and keep up with your other responsibilities, but use some of your spare time to do things like:
- Cross Country Skiing
- Fat Biking
- Beer Tasting at Deschutes, Bend Brewing, Good Life, Crux, Worthy, Boneyard, 10 Barrel, etc., etc., etc…
- Ice Skating
- Reading a Good Book
- Skiing or Snowboarding at Mount Bachelor
- Going to See a Movie
- Ice Climbing
That’s all for this edition of frequently asked questions. If you have questions you’d like to see answered in a future FAQ, shoot me an email and let me know.