Update to Communications with BWTP

Now that we are deep within tax season, we want to revisit communications with our office and your expectations. With COVID still around, we are continuing our no face-to-face meeting policy, so transfer of documents and information will be taking place through the mail or our drop-off box, or electronically through e-mail or our internet portal, which may be different than in previous years.

Last week, the IRS extended the due dates for the 2020 Federal individual income tax returns to May 17th. Due to multiple reasons, BWTP is running behind in our preparation of individual income taxes, so we will be working to complete income tax returns by this extended filing date. We are relying on our clients to forward your income tax information to our office as soon as you can to allow us to prepare complete and accurate returns by the May 17th due date. We are requesting that information should be received in our office by April 9th to give us time to prepare the returns by the due date. Information received after the April 9th date may require the tax returns to be extended until October 15th.

We want 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.

If you prefer, you have the option to mail your information pertaining to your individual income tax returns to our office, or you can deliver it to our office and place it in the drop-off box located outside our office. This drop-off box is monitored frequently, so the information will be forwarded to the person preparing your tax returns.

We prefer to get your information through our internet portal, which is a more secure method to transfer information 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.

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 received an email 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 to review, and an authorization form for you to sign allowing us to file the returns.

This authorization 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. After notification, 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, or if you only access the portal once-a-year. 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 call 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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