FAQ

CC: TAX PREPARATION® POLICIES

Do you have an H&R Block Emerald Advance®?

Did you receive an H&R Block Emerald Advance® ? Did they tell you that you have to return to H&R Block for income tax preparation? Well not according to the snippet shown here from the H&R Block Emerald Advance 2015 Terms and Conditions.

Come take advantage of our great tax preparation services and low fees!

If you bring your line of credit documents with you to your tax preparation appointment we can setup a payment to your line of credit account directly from your tax refund. H&R Block Emerald Advance® customers are reminded to file early as the H&R Block Emerald Advance Terms and Conditions do state that there is a Late Payment Penalty Fee.

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What is a tax refund advance?

Clients who select our Pay Later service, subject to fees by our 3rd party partners, MAY additionally be offered a tax refund advance;

  • Advance amounts are either 25% (up to $2,500), 50% (up to $6,000) or 75% (up to $6,000) of the expected Federal refund, subject to a minimum advance of $500, and other program criteria.
  • Federal refunds under $1,000 will typically not meet program criteria.
  • Based on prior year averages, 80% of clients should meet program criteria. Not all clients will meet program criteria.
  • Tax refund advances that are 25% of the expected Federal refund AND are NOT more than $2,500 are NOT subject to interest charges.
  • Tax refund advances that exceed 25% of the expected Federal refund or $2,500 are subject to interest charges at a 36% APR on the entire amount of the advance. For example, for a $2,500 advance representing 50% of the expected refund and borrowed over a 24 day term, the total amount payable in a single payment is $2,559.18, including interest.
  • In the event of a refund processing delay, interest will stop accruing after 45-days.
  • Tax refund advances are non-recourse, meaning if your actual tax refund is less than your advance you will not be liable for the difference. (In this case some Pay Later clients may still be liable for tax preparation fees, see FAQ page on Fees.)
  • Tax refund advances, when offered and approved, are generally available to a client not later than the next business day after approval.
  • In order to adapt to an evolving market and loss prevention concerns, program terms and criteria may change without notice.
  • Tax refund advances are offered as explained above each tax season on Federal tax returns that are filed prior to March 1st.
  • Some clients may qualify for a pre-season tax refund advance.

MetaBank requires us to provide the following notice;

The Refund Advance is an optional tax-refund related loan provided by MetaBank® (it is not the actual tax refund) at participating locations. The amount of the loan will be deducted from tax refunds and reduce the amount that is paid directly to the taxpayer. Fees for other optional products or product features may apply. Tax returns may be filed electronically without applying for this loan. Availability is subject to satisfaction of identity verification, eligibility criteria, and underwriting standards.

What is a pre-season tax refund advance?

Our 3rd party partner EPS Financial, a division of MetaBank®, offers tax refund advances on eligible current year tax returns that we transmit between mid-January and until the end of February. Please refer to our FAQ’s on fees and refund advances for additional details. Clients are advised that a tax return must be both complete and accurate before we are able to transmit the return.

Where is my refund?

Customers are advised that the IRS, and many states, are making processing changes to reduce fraud. As a result, many refunds are taking longer to process than they did only a few years ago. In most cases, refunds are still processed in less than 3 weeks. However, returns filed in January may take longer as the IRS will not begin processing returns that claim either the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15th.

Some clients who optionally purchase our Pay Later offer may also meet the program criteria for a tax refund advance. See the tax refund advance FAQ page for more details on tax refund advances. See the fees FAQ page for more details on the Pay Later offer.

The Internal Revenue Service states that they expect to pay 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, and preparers are cautioned against stating otherwise to taxpayers. The key steps to a quick refund for all returns are;

  • File your return early
  • File your return electronically
  • File an accurate return
  • Use the direct deposit option

Click below to read the IRS Publication on refund processing. 

IRS Publication 2043

The Internal Revenue Service and the Maine Revenue Service each offer an online tool to check the status of your refund.

IRS Refund Tool

Maine Refund Status

Are there limitations on Direct Deposit?

Taxpayers entitled to a refund will typically have an option to directly deposit their refund to a checking, savings and or prepaid debit card account. The IRS even allows taxpayers to split a refund between multiple accounts. Taxpayers should also consider the following;

  • The IRS requires that either the taxpayer, or the spouse, or both, must be at least one of the owners of the checking, savings, and or prepaid debit card account.
  • Some financial institutions may reject a tax refund direct deposit when the tax return and account holder names are not identical. For example, some banks may refuse a tax refund direct deposit from a joint return to an individual account in order to protect themselves from claims by the taxpayer who would not have access to the individual account.
  • When a tax refund is deposited into a joint account the debits of other parties may be paid using the taxpayer’s refund. 

What are your fees?

* The base fee for current tax year services is dependent on the tax return we prepare for you. The base fee includes IRS Schedules 2-6, and also includes a Maine state return when prepared with the federal return.

  • $49 if we prepare an IRS 1040 return without Schedule 1
  • $79 if we prepare an IRS 1040 return with Schedule 1

* We charge an additional $30 fee for each IRS Schedule your specific situation requires, excluding Schedules 1-6 and B.

* We charge an additional $20 fee for each additional document we prepare as part of your return, such as most Federal and State forms, and some worksheets, as your specific situation requires.

* We charge an additional $30 fee for each additional state return when prepared with the federal and Maine state returns.

* We charge $40 to prepare IRS Form 1040X and/or an AMENDED FORM 1040ME, provided we prepared the original return(s), and assuming the client is now altering their tax position. Additional fees will apply when new forms and/or schedules are prepared, or to amend Non-Maine state returns. In most cases we can help clients to amend tax returns we did not prepare, in which case the fees will be determined based on each specific situation.

* Subject to a $20 return transmission fee by On-Line Taxes, Inc., our third party software partner, clients may optionally purchase our Pay Later offer when we e-file a current year return. In this case tax preparation fees may be deducted from the client’s tax refund. Not all tax refunds are paid as expected, which may leave some Pay Later clients with a balance due for tax preparation fees, which is payable upon demand. Tax refunds are processed by EPS Financial, a division of MetaBank, our third party partner, and then distributed to clients by one of the following three methods;

  • We can typically provide in our office to our Pay Later clients an E1 Visa PREPAID debit card that will typically be funded on the same day the IRS or state issues your refund(s). Conditions of use and other fees are subject to EPS terms and conditions, the third party issuing the card. EPS will deduct a $39.95 fee from your refund for this service.
  • We can typically offer to our Pay Later clients a direct deposit service offered by EPS, our third party partner. In most cases the client’s bank account is still funded the same day the IRS or state issues your refund. EPS will deduct a $39.95 fee from your refund for this service.

E1 PREPAID VISA BROCHURE

E1 PREPAID VISA CARDHOLDER AGREEMENT

  • We can typically offer our Pay Later clients an e-check using a service offered by EPS, our third party partner. Your paper check will typically be available in our office and ready for pick-up on the same day the IRS or state issues your refund. EPS will deduct a $39.95 fee from your refund for this service.

* Some Pay Later clients may be offered a no additional fee, no interest, non-recourse advance of up to 25% of the expected Federal refund (up to $2,500), subject to program criteria. Larger amounts may be available but are then subject to interest charges. Please refer to our FAQ on refund advances for additional details. 

* For an additional $50 fee you may purchase audit protection services from our third party partner. This is full-service professional representation in the unlikely event your return(s) are examined or audited. Additionally, a taxpayer may be reimbursed for added expenses incurred up to $2,500 in the event of a preparation error. Please refer to partner documentation for complete terms and conditions, which is available upon request.

* The Federal annual tax return filing season for individual returns generally opens in late January and closes in mid-November. Pre-season refers to the period of time between the start of the calendar year and the day that the IRS officially opens the new season. Generally, tax returns prepared out of season are not transmitted until the new annual filing season opens. A client may at anytime request that we paper file their return. And, subject to a minimum total return preparation fee threshold of $199 based on this fee schedule and excluding 3rd party services, a client may request that we transmit their pre-season tax return during the pre-season.

* For $99 we offer a Tax Planning Workshop. This is a one-hour discussion of the major changes and updates to the tax laws for the upcoming tax season, and an analysis on how it will affect your individual tax situation. The workshop includes a paperback guide.  

* We ask that new clients bring with them to their first appointment all current year tax documents as well as their prior year tax return(s) as this is the best way for us to develop a complete understanding of your individual tax scenario. Late documents or statements that materially alter your tax situation may result in additional fees.

* If you write us a check for payment on services performed and it is not paid for any reason you will be responsible for all allowable fees as set forth by Maine statutes. We will of course waive such fees when provided with verification of a bank error.

* We will assess a $25 collection fee on any unpaid balance more than 90 days past due, plus additional allowable costs as set forth by Maine statutes.

What is the Accurate Return Guarantee?

The statement Accurate Return Guarantee refers only and specifically to the accuracy of the software we use to prepare tax returns. If as a direct result of a defect in the preparation software the third party developer will indemnify damaged parties for penalties and interest paid to the government. Any changes to the tax liability are the responsibility of the tax payer. Just to be very clear, software defects tend to be very rare.

Most problems found in a professionally prepared tax return result from inadvertent errors and omissions in the information provided by the tax payer. We, as do many tax professionals, work very hard to scrutinize the information provided by a tax payer in an attempt to recognize potential errors and omissions. But ultimately it is the tax payer that is responsible for the accurate dissemination of the necessary information for an accurate return. In the event of any errors or omissions in the information provided by the taxpayer any associated changes in tax liability and including the assessment of any penalties and or interest are the sole responsibility of the tax payer. To minimize potential additional expenses it is extremely important to find and resolve problems in a tax return immediately. For this reason we strongly encourage every tax payer to immediately and thoroughly review all prepared tax return documents.

What forms of Payment are accepted?

WE ACCEPT THE FOLLOWING FORMS OF PAYMENT FOR OUR SERVICES.

Cash, Check or Credit/Debit card paid in our office. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards. We do require payment in full, or a payment arrangement, before we will file your returns.

Fees deducted from your refund. In most cases when you are expecting a refund from the IRS you may optionally utilize a third-party refund settlement product, subject to a $40 tax return transmission fee.

Payment online or by Phone. If your return is on hold pending payment on account you may make a credit/debit card payment online or by phone. As soon as we receive your payment we will file your return. To make a payment online just click the Payment tab above. To make a payment by phone please give us a call at 207-696-3700.

Bitcoin. We do accept Bitcoin payments. We first calculate our fees in USD and then accept Bitcoin payments using the current USD conversion rate at Coinbase.

Why should I have CC TAX PREP prepare my return?

Not every taxpayer situation requires a Certified Public Accountant to prepare their tax return. In fact, industry documents conclude that 2 out of 3 taxpayer returns are simple[1][2]. Amazingly though, the average cost of preparing a simple return is $146[2]. We think that is too high and are guessing you think so as well!

We do not base our fees on what others typically charge, nor do we claim to provide free services only to expect payment on what is later found in the fine print. Our fee schedule is straight forward and based on our costs plus a fair profit for the services performed. We also do not cut corners just to offer competitive fees. Our tax software vendor is an IRS e-file partner. They provide an accurate guarantee warranty on their product. Our office is registered with the IRS as an ERO originator. Our tax professionals are registered with the IRS as paid preparers. And through a partnership we can offer most customers a prepaid debit card settlement option where you can have tax preparation fees deducted from your refund. We purchase the same industry standard insurances and bonds as most of our competitors hopefully do.

So if your tax situation requires the services of a tax professional, we hope you will consider us.

What are your Appointment Policies?

We schedule all advance appointments for an hour. We estimate that in most cases we will complete a 1040EZ return in about 30 minutes and a 1040A return in about 60 minutes. Most full 1040 returns require 2 office visits, a one hour appointment to discuss the tax year with the taxpayer and then a follow up visit to review the prepared return.

Our appointments are subject to a set of ten minute policies.

  1. We will only hold a scheduled appointment for 10 minutes in the event you are late. While we appreciate a courtesy call when you are running late, we strictly adhere to the policy in fairness to others.
  2. The last 10 minutes of any appointment are designated for wrapping up the appointment, but not necessarily the return. If it is apparent we will not complete the full return in the allocated time we will wrap up the appointment as scheduled. Assuming we already have all required documentation to complete the return we will have the completed return ready for your review in the next few days.

While customers are always welcome to drop by the office and try their luck at a walk-in appointment, we strongly encourage everyone to schedule an appointment in advance. If we are already with another customer you may encounter a wait to then just be turned away. Our ability to provide a walk-in service is limited by the appointment schedule and individual requirements of the taxpayer.

What are your hours?

Regular office hours for the tax season are from mid-January to late April. We are open:

  • Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 4 PM
  • Saturday from 12 PM to 5 PM
  • We are closed on Sundays and most federal holidays.
  • We are also available weekdays after 6 PM by appointment only.

We are also open after the tax season Monday through Wednesday from 10 AM to 4 PM, or by appointment the rest of the week.

Which Form – 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ?

Individual taxpayers who file a paper federal tax return use one of these three IRS forms which are selected based on different degrees of tax complexity. However, all electronically filed federal tax returns are in effect a form 1040. Further, the IRS requires that in most cases we file your return electronically. The issue is still relevant as our tiered fee structure is based on the same rules as are used to select between the three forms. As stated by the IRS as Topic 352 the three forms used for filing individual federal income tax returns are Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, and Form 1040.

Form 1040EZ is the simplest form to fill out. You may use Form 1040EZ if you meet all the following conditions:

  • Your filing status is single or married filing jointly
  • You claim no dependents
  • You, and your spouse if filing a joint return, were under age 65 on January 1, 2014, and not blind at the end of 2013
  • You have only wages, salaries, tips, taxable scholarship and fellowship grants, unemployment compensation, or Alaska Permanent Fund dividends, and your taxable interest was not over $1,500
  • Your taxable income is less than $100,000
  • Your earned tips, if any, are included in boxes 5 and 7 of your Form W-2
  • You do not owe any household employment taxes on wages you paid to a household employee
  • You are not a debtor in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed after October 16, 2005
  • You do not claim any adjustments to income, such as a deduction for IRA contributions, a student loan interest deduction, an educator expenses deduction, or a tuition and fees deduction
  • You do not claim any credits other than the earned income credit
  • If you file Form 1040EZ, you cannot itemize deductions or claim any adjustments to income or tax credits (other than the earned income credit).

If you cannot use Form 1040EZ, you may be able to use Form 1040A if:

  • Your income is only from wages, salaries, tips, taxable scholarships and fellowship grants, interest, or ordinary dividends, capital gain distributions, pensions, annuities, IRAs, unemployment compensation, taxable social security or railroad retirement benefits, and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends
  • Your taxable income is less than $100,000
  • You do not itemize deductions
  • You did not have an alternative minimum tax adjustment on stock you acquired from the exercise of an incentive stock option
  • Your taxes are only from the Tax Table, the alternative minimum tax, recapture of an education credit, Form 8615 (PDF) or the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet
  • Your only adjustments to income are the IRA deduction, the student loan interest deduction, the educator expenses deduction, the tuition and fees deduction, and
  • The only credits you are claiming are the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the earned income credit, the credit for the elderly or the disabled, education credits, the child tax credit, the additional child tax credit, or the retirement savings contribution credit
  • You can also use Form 1040A if you received dependent care benefits.

Finally, you must use Form 1040 under certain circumstances, such as:

  • Your taxable income is $100,000 or more
  • You have certain types of income such as unreported tips; certain nontaxable distributions; self-employment earnings; or income received as a partner, a shareholder in an “S” Corporation, or a beneficiary of an estate or trust
  • You itemize deductions or claim certain tax credits or adjustments to income, or
  • You owe household employment taxes

Do you prepare amended returns?

If after your tax return has been filed you learn that an item in your return has been misstated you should file an amended return as soon as possible. When possible, file an amended return before the deadline to file the original return as this may reduce or even eliminate any penalties or interest the IRS may otherwise assess. Never delay in correcting an error in a return or the IRS may conclude the error was an intentional act versus an honest mistake!

If you are having any doubts on an item in your return we would be happy to review the matter with you and help you determine if you need to amend a prior return. We are also happy to help you amend a return we did not originally prepare for you.

Can I send you a document by either Fax or E-mail?

We can accept most documents electronically by either fax or e-mail. However, identity theft is a constant concern in our world today. As most tax documents contain your name, your address, and your social security number, please be very cautious when electronically sending a document. Sending your document to the wrong address is not only embarrassing, but there are obvious privacy risks as well.

 

Our fax number is (207) 696-3799

Our e-mail address is info@cctaxprep.com

It is our policy that all personal information and any documents that you send to us via e-mail be secured with a password. You will need to call us by phone to obtain an electronic document password. 

To send us personal information by e-mail:

  • Create a new document using either Microsoft Word or Open Office Text Document. 
  • Enter your personal information in the document.
  • Save the document with a password. Be sure to use the password we provide to you so we can open the document once it arrives. 
  • Attach the password protected document to an e-mail. 

To send us other tax documents by e-mail:

  • Organize the tax documents to be sent. For example, you may have to download a tax document from your bank to your computer, or scan a tax document you received in the mail.
  • Create a compressed, encrypted and password protected archive of your files. Be sure to use the password we provide to you so we can open the archive once it arrives. You will need a software utility program to create an archive. For further directions using the free 7-Zip archive utility, click on the link below. 
  • Attach the archive to an e-mail.

What are Audit Protection Representation Services?

Whiles chances are you will not be audited, the IRS uses a process called the discriminate information function (DIF) to select about 1% of all returns for audit. DIF works by comparing individual returns to national averages. In an audit, IRS agents will typically review a Taxpayer’s supporting documents. Taxpayers with legitimate claims need not fear an audit. However, an audit can still be both stressful and time consuming which is why some taxpayers prefer to use a representation service when audited. Audit representation services can be very expensive when purchased after receiving an audit notice. That is why we offer peace of mind protection at a fraction of the typical cost of per hour services at the time we file your return. For a $50 fee per tax year taxpayers receive professional audit protection services from our third party partner. Additionally, a taxpayer may be reimbursed for added expenses incurred up to $2,500 in the event of a preparation error. Please refer to partner documentation for complete terms and conditions.

What is the NATP?

The National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) is the largest tax association serving Tax Preparers, Enrolled Agents, Certified Public Accountants, Certified Financial Planners, Accountants, and Attorneys. The NATP serves professionals through tax education, research, updates, publications and supplies. All of our tax professionals are current NATP members.

What is the privacy policy for this site?

This privacy policy discloses the privacy practices for (www.cctaxprep.com). This privacy policy applies solely to information collected by this web site. It will notify you of the following:

  1. What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the web site, how it is used and with whom it may be shared.
  2. What choices are available to you regarding the use of your data.
  3. The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
  4. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing 

We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary to fulfill your request, e.g. to ship an order.

Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy.

Your Access to and Control Over Information 

You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time. You can do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website:

   • See what data we have about you, if any.

   • Change/correct any data we have about you.

   • Have us delete any data we have about you.

   • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

Security 

We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline.

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a closed lock icon at the bottom of your web browser, or looking for “https” at the beginning of the address of the web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

Updates

Our Privacy Policy may change from time to time and all updates will be posted on this page.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately via telephone at (207) 696-3700 or via email at info@cctaxprep.com.

OTHER SERVICES

Do you offer notary services?

We do provide complimentary acknowledgment or affirmation notarial services to our clients. Other services are subject to our standard fee schedule.

Do you offer bookkeeping and payroll services?

We do offer bookkeeping and payroll services too.

Payroll Brochure

For additional information and references please give us a call at (207) 696-3700.