Alternative Filing Arrangement

Due to the challenges our field is experiencing, including increased tax season compression resulting from delays in tax documents due to harried & complex tax legislation and staffing challenges, our industry is having to come up with new strategies to service their clients. We are introducing a new relationship model, the Alternative Filing Arrangement, for clients whose needs are largely centered around tax return preparation, and occasional advice or consultation, and where our more robust Business & Individual packages are overkill. With this approach, the agreement would be to file extensions annually and prepare your tax return in the May 15th through July 31st timeframe, which allows us to shift the time when we work with you outside of the traditional tax season & the traditional tax planning season (mid-August through mid-December), and greatly combat the challenges mentioned above. This allows us to retain existing relationships, and have a way to add new relationships, without increasing the risks mentioned above.

Who would benefit from this

  • Note: there is no known increase in audit risk for extending your return, and extending should not be viewed as a negative, problem, or ‘red flag’ of any sort. Our practice extends 18 to 23% of all returns each year (including our practice’s return), and 10-15% of all Americans file an extension in a typical tax year.

  • Clients that typically receive refunds, or owe very little with their tax return, which eliminates or reduces the risk of penalties & interest, which start to accrue on April 15th, regardless of when the tax return is filed.

  • Clients that may be able to self-prepare their return, but still have the desire to have professional tax return preparation & occasional guidance, but want to keep their costs at a reasonable level.

  • Retired clients, who have a predictable income structure, where we could work, while preparing their prior year tax return, to ensure adequate withholdings & estimated payments for the coming year, making the risk of a balance due and penalties & interest is lower.

  • Business owners or investors who may need to extend their return anyway, due to additional time being needed complete business returns, or to receive other K-1s that are not available until after the filing deadline.

Additional benefits

  • Included in your package would be one hour of consultation time outside of the tax return preparation process. If you have a business return, each return would include one hour of consultation time as well.

  • The included consultation time can be utilized by any of your other professional advisors, including financial advisors or attorneys.

  • Audit or taxing authority assistance – as part of your package, we handle any notices you may receive, and manage an audit or any other inquiry you may face, related to a return that we have prepared.

Important caveats

  • The package would not include tax projections & extension estimates, or assurance that you wouldn’t have a balance due, and associated penalties and interest, when your return is prepared.

  • We would not be able to perform, as a separate engagement, tax projections or extension estimates requiring substantive work & analysis within the October 1st to May 15th timeframe, but you can certainly use your included consultation time any time during the year.

  • We could be engaged to perform a separate tax projection project from May 15th through September 30th, if you’d like added comfort on how the year may end up or need to do more intensive tax planning or consultation, than the included consultation time would allow.

  • We would require a deposit of one third of the prior year’s fee by 11/1 to reserve a preparation spot in the May 15th to July 31st timeframe, and that deposit would be applied to the final invoice when your return is completed.