What is Our Firm’s Internal Process for Creating Your Tax Return?
As the tax services manager here at Blumer, I wanted to share with you a little information about our firm’s internal process for creating your tax return.
Rest assured, there is a lot happening behind the scenes to ensure that your tax return is prepared carefully and completely. So let me pull back the curtain a little so you can see what is going on behind the scenes.
- The process kicks off when you fill in the questionnaire (also known as the Client Needs List) and upload any tax documents we don’t have to your Client Portal.
- If we are involved in your business bookkeeping, payroll and tax return prep, we will also have tax documents and financials. Your Customer Ally will pull that information, which may include W-2s, financial statements or K-1’s from your business.
- Your Customer Ally takes all of that combined information and prepares your return in our tax software. Quite often, as they go through the process of looking through your information and inputting it into our software, questions will come up and they may contact you for some answers, either by email or in a meeting.
- Keep in mind, while your Customer Ally is working on your return, they are also juggling other returns, as well as the usual monthly recurring service that they give you whether it is accounting, payroll, controllership, you name it. Our CA’s are *busy* during tax season.
- Once they have completed the return, they run through a review checklist to do a first level of review for specific items. They will check the accuracy and completeness of the return in this step.
- Your Customer Ally then lets me know it is time to review the return. As the Tax Manager, I review the return against the supporting documentation. I also look for any areas in which we need more information from you to report correctly. And I will take a look at how the current year amounts compare to the prior year to see how your income, deductions and taxes are trending. Once I’ve done my review, I’ll either give back the return to the Customer Ally with notes and open questions, or I will give them the green light to carry on with the process
- Sometimes, there is also a second level of review, where Jason Blumer will also do a high-level review of the return. This is especially true of first-year clients and clients with unusual tax balances. He also has the opportunity to make notes or ask questions about the return to the Customer Ally
- Quite often, at this point, there are additional questions for you, the client. So don’t be surprised if you hear from your Customer Ally at different points in time, with different questions.
- Once all of those review notes and questions are cleared, the return is approved internally and the Customer Ally is cleared to schedule an external review meeting with you. This is where you meet virtually, and they share your tax return with you, over Zoom. We do this not just to let you know what you will owe or get back in refund, but also so that you have the opportunity to look at the return as it is and let us know if any amounts look odd or if anything might be missing. The return isn’t finished until you let us know that it looks good!
- And from there, we get your e-signature on the e-file authorizations, we e-file the returns, monitor them to make sure they are accepted by the taxing agencies, and let you know each step of the way what is happening. Your CA also provides you detailed payment instructions at this point, if you have a balance due.
And that is our whole internal process for creating your tax return. It sounds like a lot, and it is, but it is what we do to make sure we do as complete and accurate a job in preparing, reviewing and filing your returns as we know how.