The process of individual tax return preparation

You may be new to having a CPA prepare your individual tax returns, or you may be selecting a new CPA. I feel it is important to share my general process, so you know what to expect.

Once you engage me as your CPA, I will ask for your prior year tax returns, and date(s) of birth for taxpayer, spouse, and dependents (as applicable). If you report business income as a sole proprietor or single-member LLC, I will also need accountant access to your QuickBooks Online (QBO).


Once you receive most of your tax documents, you may upload them to me, or send by another method. This may include IRS forms, such as for wage, investment, and other income, as well as mortgage interest paid, property tax paid, and other deductions.


I will then begin to prepare your tax returns, during which time I may email questions to clarify income and deduction details. I may also email prompting for additional tax documents or information that appears omitted based on historical filing and/or my intuition from experience.


Once I feel that your tax returns are complete, I will email and send a DocuSign of your tax returns, and process a sales receipt for the tax return preparation. I may include observations and/or questions for you to consider that may result in modifications. If modifications are in order, I will send an updated tax return DocuSign.


Once you have reviewed your tax returns to ensure they are complete and accurate, you will then complete the DocuSign, which authorizes me to file your returns on your behalf.


Upon receipt of the completed DocuSign, I will file your tax returns. In most cases, the filing happens quickly after you complete the DocuSign, followed by an email confirming your tax returns are filed.


While the above details the steps of the tax return preparation and filing itself, I am available throughout the year for questions, to clarify tax agency notices, or to take on tax estimation or tax-related projects.