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Thomas E. Healy
Certified Public Accountant, PC
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(This is the Old Tax Services site; click here to return to the new site.)
Tax Services

For You

For Your Small Business

For Everyone

Link to Individual tax preparation How can I help you with your individual tax return preparation?

Link to Business Tax Preparation How can I help your business with tax preparation?

Link to IRS help Have you received notices from the Internal Revenue Service or other government agencies?

Link to Tax Planning How can I help you understand the tax consequences of a proposed transaction?

Individual Tax Return Preparation

Try the Tax Notebook to send me your tax information.

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Existing clients: email me and I'll send you the login information.
New clients can go directly to the Tax Notebook site and click on the "New Tax Client" link on the right side.

Individual tax returns

(Effective December 1, 2009)

This section lists what I will do and limitations on my services, including events that would cause me to not complete my services for you. It states payment terms and what you need to do so I can complete these services. Please ask for an engagement letter tailored to your specific circumstances. I will perform the following services beginning with my receipt of a signed approval form from you.

What I will do

1. I provide the following services for all individual returns:

Preparing your federal tax return, your home state return, and others which I identify and you ask me to prepare. Other state returns will be your responsibility unless you ask me to prepare them);

Two 10-minute telephone consultations during 2010;

Creating one brief letter to a lender stating basic information about your returns;

Estimated tax reminders for 2010 based on your 2009 tax liability;

A year-end organizer;

Retention of 5 prior years of tax returns as well as passive and capital loss records, historical costs, and depreciation of business property.;

2. Some clients will need other services, which may result in a higher price. These can include: extending your return to October; additional state returns; calculation of actual 2010 estimated tax for each quarterly payment, based on information you provide; preparing Form 5500-EZ for a retirement plan (preparing Form 5500 will be a separate engagement with your business); preparing tax returns for your minor children or retired parents (income only from social security, retirement plans, interest, dividends, and capital gains); and gift tax returns.

3. I will prepare your individual federal and state income tax returns for 2009 from information you furnish me, and will process them on my own computer. The returns will be prepared in accordance with the appropriate federal and state income tax laws and; regulations. I will not audit or otherwise verify the data you submit, although I may ask you to clarify some of it. All returns will be filed electronically unless (a) you and I agree to file on paper or (b) the returns are precluded from electronic filing because of IRS rules or software limitations.

4. After you return the Approval Page, I will send you a Client Organizer in paper, web, or email format (email is the same as paper, except that you print it out. If you prefer to organize your own materials, please let me know.

5. I will not complete preparing your returns under the following circumstances:

You ask me to terminate my services.

You do not pay a progress billing in timely fashion.

You do not provide required information in time to complete the return (generally I need it by March 25, 2010 for filing by April 15, 2010, or by October 1, 2010 for extended filing); or

We can't come to an agreement regarding the treatment of an item on the tax return.

What you need to do

1. Sign and return the approval form as soon as possible.

2. Pay the initial retainer by the date you send me your tax materials.

3. In a timely fashion, complete the Organizer and supply other information that I need in order to prepare your tax returns. If you wish you may provide a computer file from a home accounting program (i.e., Quicken); however, it may take me more time to find the relevant information, unless the categories are well designed (hint: I can help you with this), and you will still need to provide non-financial information.

All the information I get from you or your agents will be correct and complete, to the best of your knowledge. It will include all income, deductions, and other data necessary for the preparation of your income tax returns. Usually, you do not need to furnish me with your supporting records. However, I will need your original W-2's, 1099-R's, and other forms that show withheld taxes. It's useful to provide copies or originals of other 1099's, Schedules K-1, and the details of complicated transactions such as real estate sales or purchases, and stock transactions. If you have made a lot of stock transactions during the year, I can import an Excel spreadsheet into the tax software. You may wish to give me (temporary) access to your on-line brokerage account so I can download these transactions myself. If you receive letters from brokers or mutual funds containing supplementary information (such as foreign taxes, tax-exempt income by state, and income from U. S. Government obligations), send those to me as well (saves me having to find them on the web). Even though I don't need to see your other records, you should retain them in the event the taxing authorities audit your return.

4. You have the ultimate responsibility for your income tax returns. Therefore, you should review them carefully before signing and filing the returns. I will correct errors or omissions that are caused by me at no charge up to the time you file the return, so allow enough time before the filing deadline for such corrections. New information you provide me after I complete the return, which requires re-running the return, will result in additional charges. Subsequent corrections of errors or omissions that require an amended return or response to an Internal Revenue Service or other government notice will be invoiced at my normal rates.

5. Let me know before you undertake new courses of action so that you receive advance tax planning information.

6. Let me know if you receive any notice from the Internal Revenue Service, the Colorado Department of Revenue, or another taxing agency.

How you will benefit

1. Your tax return will be accurately prepared from the information you provide.

2. Your long-term tax bill (including penalties and interest) will be as low as I can make it, consistent with the audit and economic risks you are willing to accept.

3. Through the knowledge about your financial situation, which I gain through the tax return preparation process, I am more able to advise you on planning issues that you might be interested in pursuing.

How I will benefit

1. I generally base my Price on the time required at my regular rate of $200 per hour (no price increase this year!) plus out-of-pocket and technology costs. However, my Price may include other appropriate factors, including the difficulty of the return, the degree of risk and responsibility the work entails, time limitations imposed on me by you and others, my experience and professional expertise, and the priority and importance of the work to you. The typical return I prepare has a Price of around $1,000, my minimum is $650, and some returns are over $3,000. I will be able to give you a more accurate estimate after discussing your situation with you.

2. The above Price estimates are based on the characteristics of my existing clients. I will attempt to minimize increases without sacrificing the quality of my work. The extent to which I can do this depends on the quality of the information you provide. If I become aware of circumstances that are likely to increase the price I must charge, I will prepare a “Change Order” at a mutually agreeable price. Change Orders must be paid for at the time they are agreed to.

3. You agree to pay 50% of the Price (minimum $650) by the date you send me your tax materials. I will bill you on completion of the return, with progress and Change Order billings as necessary. The balance, if any, will be due upon delivery of the returns.

4. I will add a surcharge to the Price when I receive information close to the filing deadlines: After March 25 or September 25—25%; After April 1 or October 1—50%; and after April 8 or October 8—100%. This does not apply when I received most of the information earlier, and there are just a little late-arriving data, such as a Schedule K-1.

5. By prior agreement only, I will consider a deferred payment arrangement. If an invoice remains unpaid after 25 days, I will add a finance charge at an 18% annual rate (1.5% per month).

6. If you are not absolutely delighted with my service, you, as the sole judge of my performance, have the right to withhold any payment. All I ask is that you honestly tell me where I have fallen short in your eyes so I can learn and improve from the experience. On the other hand, you may also increase your payment above the invoiced amount to reflect how pleased you are with my service. I won’t seriously object.

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Business Tax Return Preparation

Business tax forms  

(Effective December 1, 2009)

This section lists what I will do and limitations on my services, including events that would cause me to not complete my services for you. It states payment terms and what you need to do so I can complete these services. Please ask for an engagement letter tailored to your specific circumstances. I will perform the following services beginning with my receipt of a signed copy of the engagement letter.

A. What I will do

1. I will prepare the federal form appropriate to your entity status (Form 1065, Form 1120, or Form 1120S) and the state income tax return for your home state from information which you will furnish me. I will not prepare any other state tax returns though I will discuss with you any that I believe you might need to file. If we agree that I should prepare additional state returns, I will ask you to sign a new engagement letter to confirm this understanding. I will process them on my own computer. The returns will be prepared in accordance with the appropriate federal and state income tax laws and regulations. I will make no audit or other verification of the data you submit, although I may ask you for clarification or elaboration of some of the information. Upon receipt of this signed agreement, I will send you questions by email or letter to guide you in gathering the necessary information for me, especially non-financial information.

2. When necessary, I will perform such bookkeeping and accounting services as are indicated to organize your records so that an accurate tax return can be prepared. I will give you proposed adjusting entries when necessary.

3. My engagement cannot be relied upon to disclose errors, irregularities, or illegal acts, including fraud or employees stealing company assets, that might exist. However, I will inform you of any such matters that come to my attention.

4. I will not complete preparing your returns under the following circumstances:

You ask me to terminate my services;

You do not provide required information in time to complete the return (see paragraph 2 under "B. What you need to do" for deadlines); or

We can't come to an agreement regarding the treatment of an item on the tax return.

B. What you need to do

1. Sign and return one copy of the engagement letter as soon as possible. Dates in the following paragraphs refer to calendar year entities.

2. Pay the initial Retainer by the later of February 25 for corporate entities or March 25 for others or the date you send me your accounting records.

3. Complete my questionnaire and supply other information that I need in order to prepare your tax returns by February 25 for corporate entities or March 25 for others. The filing deadline is March 15 for corporate entities and April 15 for others. If you cannot meet this deadline, your federal return can be extended to as late as September 15, 2008. Most state tax returns also have extended due dates available.

4. All the information I get from you or your agents will be correct and complete, to the best of your knowledge. It will include all income, deductions, and other data necessary for the preparation of your income tax returns. Usually, you do not need to furnish me with your supporting records.

5. It is your responsibility to prepare and file all state and local tax returns, other than those listed in Section A1 above, that you may be required to file. If you wish to have me prepare additional tax returns, I will be pleased to do so, after you sign an amended engagement letter.

6. You have the ultimate responsibility for your income tax returns. Therefore, you should review them carefully before signing and filing the returns. I will correct errors or omissions that are caused by me at no charge up to the time you file the return, so allow enough time before the filing deadline for such corrections. Subsequent corrections of errors or omissions that require an amended return or response to an Internal Revenue Service or other government notice will be invoiced at my normal rates.

7. Unless you object, post any adjusting entries I propose.

8. Let me know before you undertake new courses of action so that you receive advance tax planning information.

9. Let me know if you receive any notice from the Internal Revenue Service, your home state Department of Revenue, or another taxing agency.

C. How you will benefit

1. Your tax return will be accurately prepared from the information you provide.

2. Your long-term tax bill will be the lowest it can be, consistent with the audit and economic risks you are willing to accept.

How I will benefit

1. I generally base my Price on the time required at my regular rate of $200 per hour (no price increase this year!) plus out-of-pocket and technology costs. However, my Price may include other appropriate factors, including the difficulty of the engagement, the degree of risk and responsibility the work entails, time limitations imposed on me by you and others, my experience and professional expertise, and the priority and importance of the work to you. My normal practice is to issue invoices monthly as the work progresses for the fees and expenses incurred. Amounts unpaid 25 days after billing are subject to a finance charge at the rate of 1.5% per month (an annual rate of 18%). Billings for work performed during the period October 16 through December 15 are subject to my annual fall sale discount of 20% if invoices are paid within 10 days.

2. The Price I charge depends on the amount of work required, and includes my estimate of required bookkeeping and accounting. A simple return with good accounting records may cost as little as $700-1,000. Returns with complex tax accounting, accounting changes, multiple states, etc. will be priced higher (in some cases considerably so).

3. The above Price estimate is based on my typical business clients. Any changes may require a Change Order adjustment. I will attempt to minimize increases without sacrificing the quality of my work. The extent to which I can do this depends on the quality of the information you provide. If I become aware of circumstances that are likely to increase the price I must charge, I will prepare a “Change Order” at a mutually agreeable price. Change Orders must be paid for at the time they are agreed to.

6. I will give you every opportunity to do or have done any bookkeeping required, as this will significantly reduce the fee I charge you. However, if the filing deadline is close, you must realize that there may not be time to obtain bookkeeping services elsewhere and that I must do it in order to preserve timely filing of the returns. This could raise my total fee considerably “at the last minute.”

7. In particular, I will add a surcharge to the Price when I receive information (or must do considerable work) close to the filing deadlines: Three weeks prior to the regular or extended due date, 25%; two weeks prior, 50%; and one week prior, 100% This does not apply when I received most of the information earlier, and there is just a little late-arriving data, such as the final pension contribution percent.

8. Payment terms: Fifty percent of my estimated Price is due by the later of three weeks prior to the due date or the date you send me your accounting records. I will bill you on completion of the return, with progress and Change Order billings as necessary. The balance, if any, will be due upon delivery of the returns.

9. By prior agreement only, I will consider a deferred payment arrangement. If an invoice remains unpaid after 25 days, I will add a finance charge at an 18% annual rate (1.5%per month).

10. If you are not absolutely delighted with my service, you, as the sole judge of my performance, have the right to withhold any payment. All I ask is that you honestly tell me where I have fallen short in your eyes so I can learn and improve from the experience. On the other hand, you may also increase your payment above the invoiced amount to reflect how pleased you are with my service. I won’t seriously object.

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Other tax services

The following services are subject to separate engagement letters or memoranda, setting forth the terms of the engagement, including the Price.

Tax planning services

I will be available to answer your inquiries on specific tax matters and to consult with you on income tax and business planning. Because of the substantial reforms in the tax law over the past decade, tax planning has become more defensive. You need to be more concerned with the adverse consequences of doing (or not doing) particular actions. Often these consequences do not show up for several years. Examples of this are: disqualifying transactions with pension plans(such as excess contributions); mis-classification of workers as non-employees; and changes in the ownership of a partnership. I suggest that you consult with me before taking a new course of action, so as to become aware of the most desirable way to structure a transaction and to avoid potential problems.

For tax planning services, I may require you to sign a Use Consent, permitting me to use your tax return information in connection with tax planning services. This is a new IRS requirement. If you want me to discuss your tax circumstances with a third party (i.e., investment advisor), I may also require you to sign a Disclosure Consent, permitting me to disclose your tax return information to the third party (this needs to be specific to the circumstance); this consent is also part of the new IRS requirements.

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Tax controversy services

The taxing authorities might audit your returns or send you other notices that require a response. You have the right to appeal anything in the audit with which you disagree.

When you receive notices from government agencies, I will respond to them on your behalf if you have provided a signed power of attorney (Form 2848 or equivalent) regarding the tax issue; otherwise I will assist you in responding appropriately.

If you are audited, I will provide one or more of the following services:

Represent you at the audit (go in your place),

Attend the audit with you; or

Assist you in your preparation.

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This page was last updated on October 29, 2009.

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