- What do I need to provide when I have my taxes prepared?
- How do you determine fees?
- When and how are payments due?
- Do you offer a free initial consultation?
- Do you offer tax planning and other consulting services?
- What do I do if I receive a tax notice?
- How available are you?
- Do you prepare US Income Tax Returns for Foreign
Nationals & for Americans working outside the US?
What do I need to
provide when I have my taxes prepared?
If this is
the first time we are preparing your tax returns, we will
need a copy of the prior year’s return(s). We
will also need other information that is not found on tax
returns. That includes dates of birth and Social
Security numbers of yourself, spouse, dependent children,
and any other dependents you wish to claim.
Center for our Tax Organizer and
answer all items on pages 1-4). For the first year as
well as all future returns, we will need:
- Wage statements (Forms W-2, Forms 1042-S).
- Pension & retirement income (Forms 1099-R).
- Government payments such as Social Security,
unemployment benefits, state tax refunds (Forms
- Investment income (Forms 1099-INT, Forms 1099-DIV,
- Cost(basis) of any investments sold during the year.
- Self-employment income and expenses (Forms 1099-MISC,
bookkeeping records such as a detailed general ledger).
- Rental income and expenses.
- Income/(loss) from other businesses, estates &
trusts (Forms K-1).
- Other income including lottery and gambling winnings
and losses, employee reimbursements, alimony, payments
for damages or legal settlements, and any other sources
of revenue whether taxable or tax free.
- Expenses including medical & dental, real estate
& personal property taxes, federal, state, & city
taxes paid including prior balances, estimated &
extension payments, prior year balances or foreign taxes
paid, charitable donations (cash and non-cash), mortgage
and home equity loan interest (Form 1098 and/or co-op
annual statement), unreimbursed employment related
expenses, job related educational expenses, investment
expenses, tax advice and tax preparation fees, etc.
- Special expenses which may include items such as
alimony payments, IRA or other retirement contribution,
child care expenses, higher education expenses (including
529 plan contributions), and interest on school loans.
- Any other information you think may be pertinent to
preparing your returns.
- Make a list of questions regarding current or future
year tax preparation or planning.
- Provide a listing of all foreign bank and/or
investment accounts and any activity within them.
- You may wish to print & fill in part or all of
our Tax Organizer (click
Center). After the initial Tax Return,
we will provide you with a pre-printed Organizer
showing much of the prior year’s
information. It will include a list of questions
intended to help us isolate issues which we might need
to contact you about.
How do you
- Fees are normally determined based on a combination
of factors such as time spent, staff member rates,
special qualifications required, and other factors.
- We believe in devoting our time to where it will
provide the greatest overall benefit. For example,
the potential savings for the current year will likely
pale in comparison to the value of savings over say the
next 5 years. So, in this regard, we spend
appropriate time getting to know each other. (Yes,
it is equally important that you get to know us since we
will be dispensing advice to you.)
- Knowing a client allows us to discuss or raise issues
that clients often don’t raise because they are
unaware of the significance. For example, when we
learn of the birth of a child, we may inquire about the
clients’ life insurance coverage (of both spouses);
or, we may ask about the existence of wills including the
issue of custody of children should both parents die
(say in a car accident).
- Our procedures for preparing tax returns is to always
have at least 2 professionals involved, one who prepares
the return and another who checks it. In the case
of personal income tax returns, we also utilize 2
software programs, one a simple, quick,
“planning” program, the second the more
detailed “preparation” software. These
procedures take longer but have proved very effective in
eliminating errors which also then reduces government tax
- So, our fees are designed for those taxpayers who
appreciate and want outstanding personal service, quality
professional skills, and who wish to establish a
long-term relationship with our tax professionals.
- Our minimum fees are as follows:
- Personal income tax returns = $650
- Business & other income tax returns = $1,200
- We are often able to negotiate an all-inclusive
fee with clients who need our services throughout the
When and how are
- We mostly bill upon completion of a job or
project. On occasion we require a retainer before
- Once we issue an invoice, payment is expected to be
received within 30 days. (We do not determine fees
based on refunds, nor do we take fees from
refunds.) Payments are normally remitted to us by
- However, for those clients who prefer to pay by
credit card, we have implemented PayPal, a secure
web-based payment system permitting you to charge our
fees to any major credit card. (Instructions are
simple and will be provided on request.)
Do you offer a
free initial consultation?
- Yes. Since our niche is service-oriented and is
most often provided on an annual, ongoing basis, we feel
that it is important that each of us is comfortable
working with the other. So, our initial meeting is
based on getting to know one another and determining if
there is a good fit. This normally takes about 1
hour. Once we’ve agreed to work together,
only then does the clock start and fees will be charged
from that point going forward.
Do you offer tax
planning and other consulting services?
- We believe that any topic that can include a dollar
sign, is appropriate for consulting with us.
- The most common one requested is tax planning.
We encourage clients to avail themselves of our tax
planning help at any time, but it is most frequently
sought in November and December. It often takes
about an hour to simulate a tax return. This can be
done in our office, on the telephone, or via email.
We keep track of our time but don’t bill it at that
time; instead, we include it with the preparation time
which is often less because of this head start.
- For our other consultations, we have found that it
works best if we have an in-person sit-down.
We’ve found that the look on a person’s face
speaks to us louder than the words that are spoken.
Obviously, the time needed for consultations cannot be
predetermined. Sometimes, after you have left, we
need to spend time researching the issues. When
scheduling consultations, we should both allow for an
What do I do if I
receive a tax notice?
- First, don’t panic! Read it and see if
you can determine who sent it and if a response is
required. Some notices are just acknowledgements of
refunds due you or of taxes you paid. Others only
want some additional information or additional interest
and or penalties for late payments. ALL notices
should be brought to our attention immediately by sending
us a copy. If you choose to respond yourself,
perhaps by sending them a check, you should provide us
with a copy of your check as well. We prefer a PDF
e-mail attachment, but fax, US mail or drop off all work.
- A WORD OF CAUTION: The IRS does not communicate with
you by e-mail. Neither do most income tax
authorities. Therefore, be very cautious before
opening an e-mail purportedly from a government
agency. Scams and phishing are becoming rampant.
How available are
- We are open all year. Reaching us is
easy. Recently, e-mails have become the method of
choice because it is fast, both parties have a copy of
the communication, and it can be sent, received and
responded to 24/7.
- However, the more traditional methods (telephone, US
mail and fax) are always available to you. Recently
we even added Skype, an internet videoconferencing
service which allows face-to-face conversations anywhere
in the world.
Do you prepare US
Income Tax Returns for Foreign Nationals & for
Americans working outside the US?
- Besides having prepared Income Tax Returns for
clients in many US states & cities, we are also
experienced in preparing US Returns for Non-Resident
Aliens (Form 1040-NR) and for Americans working
abroad. We do not prepare Tax Returns of other
countries besides the US.
- We have a diverse foreign clientele across many
nationalities. Some common occupations are
Diplomats, Actors, Models, and UN employees.
- Tax law is very complicated regarding Non-US Citizens
working in the US, and US Citizens working abroad.
We have many years of experience in this area and are
also familiar with Green Cards, Immigration Issues, and
Foreign Assets among other issues.
Singer, Weisberger & Associates, Inc.
60 East 42nd Street, Suite 1841. New York, NY 10165
Tel 212-490-0060 Fax 212-490-2010