Our Policies & Procedures
We offer a free 30 minute meeting, in person or on the phone, whether you are in the Bay Area or anywhere in the United States. We can discuss your unique financial needs and give you some ideas of the best approach to maximizing your tax advantages.
We know that there are often circumstances where a quick answer is all you need. In a case like this, we do not charge. Please note: calls/emails and questions that require research into past returns or contacting the IRS and exceed 10 minutes are billed at our hourly rate.
We offer two ways for you to have your taxes prepared.
- Mail or Email us your information, see our Policies document for “What To Send”, and/or call us to request an organizer. We will scan your source documents and send the original copies back to you with your return. We will contact you by phone or email to discuss open items, missing information and to make final decisions regarding your return. Please note: The more complete you are in providing all pertinent information, the more cost effective the return will be for you. Emailing/Mailing in your information is the preferred method.
- By Appointment. This option is available and our schedule is as follows:
- For the tax season of January through April 15. All appointments must be scheduled before April 1st. From April 1st through April 15, we are finalizing all current year returns and filing extensions. We are happy to file an extension and finalize your return later in the year.
- For the tax season of August through October 15. Corporate returns must be filed by September 15th and individual returns to be filed by October 15th. If your information is not received by us one month prior to the final due date of the return, there will be a 15% additional charge.
During the busy tax season (January through April 15th and August through October 15th), we require a 48 hour cancellation policy or you will be billed $100 as a cancellation fee. We realize that there are times when emergencies do occur. If this is your case, we will waive the fee at our discretion.
Minimize Your Bill
Our services are time based. To help keep your bill reasonable, you—the client, can help. These options include:
- Collect your paper documents and send/deliver to us at one time in one package.
- Collect all your questions for one phone call or email as opposed to multiple calls.
- Sign a Power of Attorney. If you cannot find documentation on certain information, with a Power of Attorney (can be downloaded from our website) we can contact the IRS or Franchise Tax Board on your behalf to obtain the required information. This method can expedite the return preparation process.
- In the event that your return is selected for review by the taxing authorities, we are available to represent you.
Every client situation is different with varying degrees of simplicity, difficulty and degree of risk. Our minimum charge for an individual tax return is $550.
OUR BILLING RATES
Processing fees: This applies only to people that request paper copies (rather than emailed PDF files) of their returns. This also includes clients who have a large number of original source documents that need to be scanned, copied and returned. Flat rate: $65
- Individual returns, Corporate returns, IRS compliance, collections, audits: CPA time $350/hour, Enrolled Agent time $225/hour.
- Extensions: flat rate $100. This flat rate is for filing only. If tax projections are needed for the extension, this service is billed at our standard rates (see above).
- Sales Tax returns,1099 processing: $95/hour
- Annual Payroll tax returns: Flat rate for annual tax return/$500. Zero quarterly tax returns/$80 per quarter. If tax projections are needed for preparing the payroll tax return, this service is billed at our standard rates (see above).
- Bookkeeping: ranges based on the nature of the service provided. $60 to $95/hour.
Our fees for are not contingent on the results of our service. Rather, our fees will be based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: the time spent and the complexity of the services we perform. In addition, you are responsible to reimburse us for any out-of pocket costs incurred in connection with the performance of our services.
Our fees are payable upon completion of services. We will efile your return upon payment of the outstanding balance. If you choose not to efile the returns, you will be solely responsible to file the returns with the appropriate taxing authorities. We always recommend that your return be mailed Certified/Return Receipt Requested so that you have proof of filing your return should there be any questions in the future.
We accept VISA, MasterCard and Paypal. If you are paying by charge card, please call in that information—email IS NOT secure.
Structuring Your Taxes
We may encounter instances where the tax law is unclear, or where there may be conflicts between the taxing authorities' interpretations of the law and other supportable positions. In those instances, we will outline alternative courses of action, including the risks and consequences of each such alternative. In the end, we will adopt, on your behalf, the alternative that you select after having considered the information provided by us.
What You Need to Provide
We will prepare the returns from information that you will furnish to us. It is your responsibility to provide all the information required for the preparation of complete and accurate returns. Once you have ‘everything’, then submit to us—submitting piecemeal is not advisable. All information must be in prior to Feburary 15th (Corporations, Partnerships, LLCs) and March 15th for individuals.
If requested by you, we will furnish you with a detailed tax organizer to guide you in gathering the necessary information.
We will not audit or otherwise verify the data you submit. Accordingly, our engagement cannot be relied upon to disclose errors, fraud, or other illegal acts that may exist. However, it may be necessary to ask you for clarification of some of the information you provide, and we will inform you of any material errors, fraud, or other illegal acts that come to our attention.
You are responsible for maintaining an adequate accounting system and for retaining supporting documentation which will assure the preparation of proper returns. Furthermore, you are responsible to review all of the information presented on your tax return for correctness.
You should retain all the documents, canceled checks and other data that form the basis of income and deductions for a period of five years. Any information that affects a future years tax return, such as a purchase of a house, should be kept indefinitely. These may be necessary to prove the accuracy and completeness of the returns to a taxing authority. You have the final responsibility — for the income tax returns and, therefore, you should review them carefully before you sign them.
If you need help with setting up and/or maintaining an efficient accounting system, we offer that service and will be happy to discuss that with you.
Security is a top priority at MHR-CPA. Our computers and files are password protected, backed up to a secure and password protected external source. We use a bonded shredder service for any paper documents and the PDF files we send to you of your returns will also be password protected with the last 4 digits of your social security number.