- January 27, 2020
Greetings from the Tax Office,
2020… New Year, New Decade, New Everything! We trust that your Christmas was Merry and your New Year’s celebrations were fun!
But now to get back to the Season of Winter, and of course your Tax Return. We are on the second year of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. A lot of the returns will go smoother as we have clarification from Congress and many of the vague items. Such as 199A 20% exclusion for business returns.
We are in the second year of no personal exemptions, higher standard deduction, and loss of employee business expenses. We still have a very large postcard size return, but the extra worksheets down to 4 from 6.
Our office staff remained the same this year. We have a very good solid group of preparers! Ann Farkas finished her Bachelor of Science in Accounting in December. We wish her the best in passing the CPA exam this year. I have gone back to school this year. I have enrolled with Tax Facts USA for a year long class to prepare me to take the United States Tax Court exam in Washington, DC in November 2020. I am also going to attain the NTPI Status with National Association Enrolled Agents this year as well. These credentials will really prepare me to stand in your place not only in an Audit, but Tax Court as well.
Please see our updated website www.pennyorktax.com. The option is there to make your appointment on-line if you wish to do so. Hopefully this will cut down on the busy signal! If your return is only w-2s and investments, we would ask that you drop it off with Denise at the Front Desk, mail it to us, or make an appointment with Katrina Jefferds. Katrina has over ten years of experience doing taxes for our office and I am confident that you will be very satisfied with her.
I will work with Ann to improve the turnaround time with larger businesses and farms. Appointments fill up fast and are going to be even more limited with the additional appointment time needed on the larger returns. The 199A pass thru credit needs more time as the calculations to this are more complex that prior years, but it does save you tax.
The Audit Protection Program has been very successful. As IRS is mailing more letters than ever before, more of you are, of course, receiving those letters! Many are for income that is not yours, income that is in your return, but the computer matching didn’t connect the match, or desk or full audits. The preparation work for an audit averages 15 hours of our office time. 4 hours driving time to Buffalo, and 1 – 4 hours at the audit. Review of the reports, and appeal if necessary. Minimum cost exceeds $5,000.00. For those not in the Audit Protection Program, we require at least $2,500 retainer to start an audit. Even short returns run the risk of forgotten income items or someone else using your social security number, either by mistake or identity theft.
We have an additional feather in our cap this year, our new representation software monitors your IRS transcript bi-weekly. We are notified of any changes in your IRS status as regard to letters. Audits are posted on your IRS transcript up to 6 months before it is assigned to an agent. We are notified of that well in advance and can review your Wage and Income items to see if there are missing items that might require an amended return. If there are tax changes at an audit, a 25% underreported income penalty may be avoided if an amended return is done first. As a customer service, we will enroll you in the silver plan unless you opt out.
Although we always love to see you in person, we do appreciate the business of our customers both near and far away who choose to complete the entire tax transaction by mail. If you choose to this year, it will expedite your return if you include completed paperwork that can be printed off from our website when you send your 2019 statements. We do need this information before completing your return, so watch for a letter from us containing these forms by return mail if you don’t. Also, the cost of mailing your copy of the completed return has been rising steadily over the past few years. We will need to charge $15.00 for this service going forward.
Please make your appointment early. February is already filling up. Even if you don’t have all of your stuff, call and get your appointment. My appointment time is going to be more limited than in the past due to my class and studying time this year. My class is every other Saturday and there is significant homework as well. But passing this test will give me the same rights in Tax Court as an attorney. Currently if we need to apply to Tax Court as a way to get your case back to appeals, we need to hire an Attorney from Buffalo or Philadelphia. The USTP Credentials will allow me to take your audit to Tax Court if we need to do so.
Thank you again for your faith in our services.
AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH EACH OF YOU THIS YEAR!
VICKI WILLIS & THE PENN YORK TEAM