Internet Security and Communications with BWTP

In this electronic age, everyone must be watchful for internet hackers trying to obtain information that they can use to their advantage. With income tax filing season upon us, there will be communication between BWTP and our clients that will be done electronically. With COVID still around, we are limited in meeting face-to-face, so transfer of documents and information will be taking place through e-mail or our internet portal, which may be different than in previous years.

Due to COVID, the IRS extended the filing of the 2019 individual income tax returns to July 15, 2020. Currently, the IRS has not extended the due dates for the 2020 income tax returns, so for individual income taxes the due date is April 15, 2021. BWTP is planning for tax filing season to go to April 15, so we will be working to complete income tax returns by the original filing date, so it is imperative to forward your income tax information to our office as soon as you can.

So, we wanted to be proactive in letting you know how best to communicate with us, and how we will be transmitting information concerning your income tax information.

We prefer to get your information through our internet portal, which is a more secure method to transfer information than through e-mails. If you are sending documents to us, we prefer not to get the original documents that we will have to subsequently return to you. You can scan the documents and place them on the internet portal along with your tax organizer. As an alternative, you can mail copies of your documents and the tax organizer to our office.

After we have begun the preparation process of your income tax returns, we may be contacting you with questions or requests for missing information. This may be a phone call, or you may receive an e-mail from one of our Team Members that you may not recognize. The e-mail will be from someone @bwtpcpa.com.

Income tax returns are primarily filed electronically with the IRS and related State agencies. Before we can file electronically, we will contact you with a copy of the income tax return for review, and an authorization form for you to sign allowing us to file the returns.

This process is done primarily through e-mail encrypted from our tax preparation software. For joint returns, we are required to obtain authorization from both the taxpayer and spouse, so there will be 2 e-mails, one for each person to sign and respond. If we have e-mails for both individuals, each person will receive an e-mail. If we do not have current e-mails for both taxpayer and spouse, the e-mail we have on file will receive 2 e-mails, one for each person to respond. These e-mails are generated from our tax preparation software and contain security questions that you will have to answer in order to access the forms.

If for some reason, the income tax return cannot be processed with electronic signatures, the review copy of the income tax return will be placed on your portal, requiring you to sign the authorization, then scan and place back on the portal allowing us to file the returns. When documents are placed on your portal, you will receive notification through an e-mail, then go to the portal to access the forms and follow the instructions included with the forms.

After we have been authorized to e-file the returns and the returns have been accepted by the IRS and State agencies, copies of the income tax returns, along with any vouchers and estimated payments required, will be placed on the portal for you to keep for your records. The portal is a temporary holding place, so you will need to download the return to your computer or print a copy for your records.

This can be confusing, especially if you have done a face-to-face meeting to go over your income tax returns in the past. If you have any questions about the process, or if you are questioning communication you may have received from BWTP, please do not hesitate to contact our Support Team and they will be happy to assist you.

Robert (Bob) Schmidt, CPA

Principal at BWTP, P.C. Read Bob’s bio here.

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