FAQs - Our Process
Can you explain the Tax Samaritan process in more detail?
Our process is designed to make it quick and easy for the clients that we work with. Below is an overview of our 5-step process:
Complete Our Tax Quote Questionnaire
Unlike most companies that offer a flat rate at the beginning and last-minute rate increases at the end, we believe in getting familiar with your tax situation before we get started, so that we can analyze your situation and draft a complete engagement letter for your review. Our quote questionnaire asks a few questions to understand your tax needs (such as whether you have foreign income, rental income, etc). The engagement letter details the scope of the work that we will perform for you and the cost for these services. This way, there are no surprises. Of course, if there are areas that are uncovered in subsequent steps (for example, you have stock sales that weren’t disclosed in the questionnaire), we will request and seek your approval for a change in engagement scope.
We are available to meet by phone or Skype to assist you in completing the quote questionnaire.
Review/Sign Engagement Letter
This step engages us to prepare your tax return and/or resolve your tax problems. An invoice will be sent to you after receiving your signed engagement letter (we require an initial payment of 50 percent of the quoted fee to start work – we accept all major credit cards). Within one business day after receiving your payment, we will provide an invitation to register for our collaboration portal.
We will set up an engagement folder for “your access only” on our secure client collaboration portal to upload the documents that are needed to prepare your return.
We have created a very simple, powerful and secure way for us to collaborate, communicate and share files and information with our collaboration software. Our #1 goal is to make your experience with Tax Samaritan seamless and simplified.
Our all-inclusive tool combines the security of an online file portal and email communications into a centralized, secure and organized area.
Think along the lines of… no more sifting through emails or searching for attachments… All files, emails, comments and attachments related to your engagement will all be in one secure and organized location. We are keeping it very simple – no more wasting time.
Not only that… you will clearly see for your engagement – milestones, tasks and instructions in a private area set up just for “you” and for “us,” so that you’ll never wonder what’s outstanding and in need of a status update. Everything will be available and organized, accessible to only those involved in your engagement. You can see the status of your engagement in “real time.”
You will find that we offer our app (which, of course, is free to our clients) for the iPhone, Android, Google Chrome and the Web. Everything is in the cloud, accessible anywhere and anytime, and 100 percent secure.
We believe that this makes the tax preparation process even more worry-free and effortless for you.
As always, we are available to assist you at any step of this process along the way.
Prepare Your Tax Return
Simply put, you provide the requested documents and information, and we do all the hard work behind the scenes.
If you don’t have access to a scanner to upload the documents, your documents can be faxed or mailed to us. In most cases, your return will be posted for your review within 15 business days after all the necessary documents and information to prepare your return have been provided. If you need your returns sooner, we can provide rush service upon request.
Review Your Return
Once your return is prepared and ready for your review, your final payment will be due (the remaining 50 percent of your invoice). As soon as we receive payment, a draft of your tax return will be posted on the secure client portal for your review. We can schedule a meeting with you over the phone or skype (with screen share) to provide an overview of your return (we want you to have the opportunity to understand your return) or to clarify and answer any questions that you may have. We will be happy to make any changes or revisions to your return as needed.
File Your Return
Once you have acknowledged that you are satisfied with your return, we will be able to e-file your returns to the IRS and states (if a current year tax return) or provide instructions on how to mail in your tax returns.
Can I e-file my tax return with Tax Samaritan?
The majority of our clients are able to enjoy the ease of e-filing their federal tax returns. However, there are certain circumstances that may require your returns to be filed on paper. Either way, Tax Samaritan will help make the process as simple and easy as possible.
I can’t open the FBAR disclosure file to review.
The FBAR disclosure form (the “FBAR” file) can be opened only in Adobe Acrobat. In order to open, please first save the file locally to your computer, then open Adobe Acrobat and open the file from within Adobe Acrobat. If you try to download and open the file directly after downloading, you generally will not be able to open the file properly.
How do I get my tax information to Tax Samaritan?
We utilize a https://www.taxsamaritan.com/tax-return-getting-started/our-tax-process/collaboration portal where you can securely share files and communicate with us. In many cases, you will find a PDF or Excel questionnaire that can be downloaded, filled out and then uploaded to the portal. Our questionnaires are designed to make the information-gathering process easy, quick and simple. The questionnaires help compile necessary information and, most importantly, ensure that no deductions are missed. You will find questionnaires to help gather information for Schedules A,C,D and E, as well as foreign bank account information, travel information and other general information.