Malden MA Tax FAQs

What should I bring to my appointment?


- Download your One Page Tax Preparation Checklist
of the items you should bring to your personal income tax preparation


- Download a more In Depth Client Tax Organizer
to be used in connection with your personal income tax return preparation appointment, as well as two pages for self employed business owners and one page for rental properties.


Where is my refund?


- The Internal Revenue Service has a link on its website that will allow you to track your federal income tax refund, click here to access the IRS site. The IRS has also created a smart phone app called IRS2Go, this application will allow you to get your refund status, register to get tax news updates by e-mail, sign up to follow the IRS on Twitter and provides IRS contact information.


- The Massachusetts Dept of Revenue also has a way to check refunds online, you will need to create an account on the Massachusetts Dept of Revenue website to utilize this feature, click here to access the Massachusetts Department of Revenue
. Or you can call the Mass Dept of Revenue at 617-887-6367 to get your refund status.


What is an Enrolled Agent?


- An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a federally-authorized tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation and who is empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the Internal Revenue Service for audits, collections, and appeals.


- To learn more about Enrolled Agents click here to visit the National Association of Enrolled Agents website.


Is it better for me to take the standard deduction or to itemize my expenses?


- It is always better to take whichever method is going to result in the lower tax liability, and the only way to properly analyze which will be the best answer for you is to try it both ways. All of your deductible expenses should be added together to see if they are higher or lower than the standard deduction available to you. If the analysis of your available itemized deductions is not done then you have no way of being sure if you have utilized the best option of itemized or standard deduction available to you.


I received an email from the IRS, what should I do?


- The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. If you have received an email claiming to be from the IRS please click here to visit the IRS webpage that will walk you through what
actions you should take.


Who can I claim as a dependent on my tax return?


- While this may seem like a very simple question that would have a very simple answer, in fact, there are many situations in which the answer takes some work to arrive at. There are a number of different criteria set forth by the IRS that an individual must meet in order to claim someone as their dependent. The only way to determine the answer is to discuss the specific circumstances with your tax preparer to find out if they meet the criteria. You should inform your tax preparer of individuals that live with you and/or that you support financially in one way or another so they can determine whether or not those individuals qualify as a dependent.


I already filed my taxes, but I think I made a mistake. Is it too late to make a correction?


- There are statutes of limitation for claiming refunds on your income tax returns. A claim for refund must be made by the later of either 3 years from the original filing due date (for individual taxpayers this is typically April 15th of the following year) or the claim must be made within 2 years of when the payment was made. Corrections can be made to your income tax return by filing an amended tax return, you should voice any concerns about corrections that potentially need to be made to your tax
preparer as soon as you notice a mistake and should provide a copy of the tax return with the mistake and any supporting documentation applicable.


Which tax year am I supposed to claim my expenses in?


- Timing your expenses can have a significant impact on your tax return, for cash basis taxpayers (most individual taxpayers are cash basis) expenses are generally deductible in the year they are actually paid. If a cash basis taxpayer goes to the doctor in December of year one and is given a bill that same month but does not pay the bill until January of year 2, the expense will not be deductible as a medical expense until the year 2 tax filing. This scenario is based on a taxpayer who has a tax year that is the same as a calendar year (January 1st through December 31st).


How do I find the best tax accountant to prepare my tax return?


- Income tax returns are as unique as the taxpayer filing the return, and it is this uniqueness that should guide your search for a tax accountant. The Internal Revenue Code is vast and tax professionals tend to specialize in certain areas of the revenue code, so you want to make sure that your accountant is well versed in the portion of the revenue code that is most relevant to your income tax return. In addition to finding an accountant who has targeted their practice towards taxpayers like you, it would be wise to make the following considerations as well;


- What areas does the tax accountant specialize in

- Length of experience in the field

- What credentials or licensure have they obtained

- What is their educational background

- Will the accountant be performing the work themself, or are portions of the work outsourced

- Are they accessible all throughout the year

- Do they possess a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number)

- Will they be signing your tax return


The final consideration is how well do you communicate with your accountant, and how well does your accountant communicate with you. An accountant may be well qualified and produce quality product but if you don't feel that they answer the questions you ask or you don't have a high level of confidence in them, then this may not be the right accountant for you. Some personalities just don't work well together, and like any other relationship you have in life your accountant should be a person who works well with you.