Here are the answers to some of the most
Frequently Asked Tax Questions our firm
The information found on this website is general in
nature and may not apply to the reader's situation.
Therefore, the reader should not rely on the
information on this website alone. For specific
advise, please give us a call.
Q. What services do you provide?
A. We prepare all tax returns including individual,
corporation, LLC and LLP, non-profit, estate and
trust, partnership, payroll, sales tax, property tax,
and other taxes. We also sell computers and software
as well as offering training. We offer bookkeeping,
financial statements, accounts payable, and accounts
receivable processing--in fact, any office function,
including setting up an office, as part of our
Q. I currently use an outside payroll
service, and, frankly, have not been pleased for
various reasons. What alternatives do I have?
A. We now have access to a very good payroll
alternative that you can access and use right here on
our webpage. This is a reasonably priced alternative,
competitive with the nationally known services, and
offers you the flexibility of running your own
payrolls on YOUR schedule. Direct deposit, ACH tax
payments and easy import to your QuickBooks or other
accounting software are features of this very good
software. Call us for a demonstration!
Q. What are your hours and are you a seasonal
A. We are open from about 9am to 7pm six days a week.
Our extended hours reflect our commitment to offer
our services at a time most convenient with our
Q. What is a reasonable wage for S
A. Ideally, the best way to set pay is to use an
amount comparable to an individual being paid similar
rate in your industry. Otherwise, I use a standard
rule of 50\50. Basically, 50% of income available to
owners should be taken as wages and the other 50%
should be taken as dividends.
Q. Which items qualify for a cafeteria plan
A. The main items consist of Qualified dependent care
costs, disability income * accidental insurance,
group-term life, dental, & health insurance
premium costs, and medical cost not covered by
insurance. Any unused amounts in a particular
category are lost by the employee and reverts to
employer by the end of the plan year
Q. Do I need to visit your office to have my
A. It is not necessary to visit our office. Many
clients utilize the mail or express services to send
their information to us. For new clients, we
encourage a meeting so that we can discuss your
unique tax situation.
Q. What size clients do you serve?
A. We provide services to home based businesses,
professionals, and small convenience stores, as well
as larger businesses. Our owner has worked for
companies with annual sales revenues in excess of $2
Q. What size clients do you accept?
A. We accept any client within our service range. If
the engagement is very large, we will accept it if we
feel we have the staff to handle it. If we don't have
the appropriate staff, we may form an alliance with
another CPA firm and perform a joint engagement.
There is no account too small to be considered
important in our office.
Q. Can I deduct student loan interest?
A. Since personal interest is generally
non-deductible must meet several tests: You must be
the person liable on the debt and the loan must be
for education only. Your income can't exceed $130,000
on a joint return or $65,000 on a single return;
married couple filing separately can't deduct. You
can't deduct if you're claimed as a dependent.
Q. Can I ever save tax by filing a separate
return instead of jointly with my spouse?
A. You sometimes may benefit from filing separately
instead of jointly. Consider filing separately if you
meet the following criteria: One spouse has large
medical expenses, miscellaneous itemized deductions,
or casualty losses. The spouses' incomes are about
equal. Separate filing may benefit such couples
because the adjusted gross income "floors" for taking
the listed deductions will be computed
Q. Do we service clients outside of
A. Our practice services clients in many other
states. We have tax software to prepare payroll and
returns in all states.
Q. How do you charge for your services and
how does your cost compare to other tax preparation
A. We can give you a quotation of our expected costs.
When providing our services, if we can help you
reduce our time, we will tell you how. Our support,
such as our tax organizer, is designed to offer
professional, fast, and accurate services and to
minimize our charges to you. Our overhead is kept low
to allow us to pass our cost savings onto our
clients. Our charges are normally less than other
Q. Do you work with Start-up Companies?
A. Yes! Many of our clients are just starting in
business. We will lead you through the necessary
governmental forms. Through our networking, we can
also assist in finding you other necessary
professionals to deal with (lawyers, insurance
agents, mortgage brokers, etc.) throughout the
Q. I want to start a new business. Can you
tell me which type of business I should
A. Yes. When setting up a new business, it is crucial
to set up the right type of business, such as
corporation, S corporation, limited liability
company, limited liability partnership, partnership,
sole proprietorship, etc. Our consulting services
will help you form the right type of business based
on your unique situation with consideration given to
liability issues and tax advantages.
Q. How are Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
A. A single-owner LLC defaults to being taxed as Sole
Proprietorship. Income/loss from the LLC is reported
on the owner’s personal income tax return. A
multi-member LLC defaults to being taxed as a
Partnership. A Partnership tax return must be filed.
The profit or loss is then reported on the
owner’s personal tax return. Any LLC can elect
to be taxed as a corporation. To do so, one must file
an election within 75 days of creating the LLC.
Q. Is there any non-tax record that I should
A. There are other records you should keep, even
though they don't appear to have any use for your tax
returns. Family documents, certain medical records,
insurance policies, records of major purchases, are
just a few examples. These documents will be needed
in the case of any emergency that may arise.
Q. Should I keep my old tax returns? If so,
for how long?
A. Yes, you should keep your old tax returns for at
least 7 years. When a return contains information
pertaining to the basis of property owned, it should
be kept until that property is sold. One of the
benefits of keeping your tax returns from year to
year is that you can look at last years return while
preparing this years. If you do throw out an old
return you may fill out form 4506, Request for Copy
or Transcript of Tax Form, and send it to the IRS
service center where you filed your return.
Q. What pieces of paper do I need to keep in
order to do my taxes?
A. Keep detailed records of your income, expenses,
and any other information you report on your tax
return. A good set of records can help you save money
when you do your taxes and will be a trusty ally in
case you are audited.
Q. How do I know when certain taxes are
A. You can give us a call or check out the Due Date
Calendar on this website.
Q. What is the Social Security wage base and
A. The wage base is $87,900 for 2004, up from $87,000
in 2003. The FICA rate remains the same: 7.65% for
employees and 15.3% for self-employed individuals.
The Social Security portion is 6.2% of wages up to
the wage base. The Medicare portion is 1.45% (2.9%
for self-employed) of wages with no ceiling.
Q. What is the standard mileage
A. The standard rate is 34.0 cents/mile in the year
2004. The rate was previously 36.0 cents/mile for
2003, and 36.5 cents/mile for 2002.
Q. When should I give you my tax
A. You should bring all your information in as soon
as you have it all together. The sooner you bring it
in to us the better chance we have at making sure
we've done the best possible job for you.
Q. Should I use a lawyer or an accountant to
incorporate my business?
A. Although lawyers can get the paperwork together to
make your incorporation happen, they might not know
all the different tax laws that can apply to the
different kinds of incorporations. Therefore, we
suggest you see an accountant first to find out
exactly which kind of incorporation you should
pursue. Then have either your accountant or the
lawyer finish the paperwork.
Q. Do I need a Certified Public Accountant or
is an accountant okay?
A. Some people do not need the expertise of a
Certified Public Accountant. The best way to find out
is to call a CPA firm and ask them that question as
each situation is different.
Q. How can I pay my taxes by credit card and
which credit cards are accepted?
A. Credit card payments can be made by phone
(1-8002PAY-TAX or 1-888-ALLTAXX, toll free) or
Internet (www.officialpayments.com or
www.1888ALLTAXX.com) using Discover, American
Express, or MasterCard. You will be provided a
confirmation number at the end of the payment
transaction and your credit card statement will
provide confirmation of your electronic payment. The
payment and return are reconciled based on the social
security number entered and type of tax selected
during the transaction.
Q. Is the IRS storing credit card
A. No. IRS does not have access to credit card
numbers or directly participate in the credit card
transactions. The IRS relies on private credit card
processors to verify the validity of the card and
line of credit. The processors forward the
appropriate tax payment information to the IRS.
Q. Is there a fee charged for using by credit
card to pay my taxes?
A. The company that processes your credit card
payment charges a convenience fee. You are informed
of the convenience fee amount before you authorize
the payment. The fee is in addition to any charges,
such as interest, that may be assessed by your credit
card issuer. This company has no affiliation or ties
to the IRS.
Q. Where can I get additional information
about IRS e-file?
A. You can visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov - or
feel free to call our offices to ask us questions as
Q. If I owe, how do I pay my taxes
A. You can e-pay by credit card. If you e-pay by
credit card, you delay out-of-pocket expenses and may
earn miles, rewards or money back from you credit
card issuer. Payment by check or money order is
acceptable. If you do owe money, we will provide you
with a voucher and addressed enveloped to mail your
check into the IRS. Your return can be e-filed at any
time before April 15, and then you can mail your
payment in later - as long as it is postmarked on or
by April 15.
Q. What do I gain by using IRS e-file?
A. Accuracy! Security! Electronic Signatures! Proof
of Acceptance! Fast refunds with direct deposit!
Electronic Payment Options! Federal/State e-file!
Only IRS e-file offers these advantages.
Q. What is an Authorized IRS e-file
A. An Authorized IRS e-file Provider is a tax
professional or firm who is accepted into the IRS
electronic filing program. One type of Authorized IRS
e-file Provider is an Electronic Return Originator
(ERO). An ERO is a person or firm that taxpayers
entrust with tax information for the purpose of
filing income tax returns electronically to the IRS.
Ramco Financial Group is an ERO.
Q. What is the Personal Identification Number
A. The PIN allows you to personally sign your
electronic tax return using a five-digit number. The
PIN serves as your signature on your tax returns. Our
firm will have this form all filled out for you when
you come to pick up your returns or they are mailed
to you. All we need you to do is sign the form for us
to keep on file and then we are able to e-file your
Q. Can I pay my balance due by phone or
Internet with a credit card if I'm a 'married filing
A. Yes. Just be sure to enter the Social Security
number of the first taxpayer listed on the return's
pre-printed mailing label or postcard. This is
usually the taxpayer listed on the return.
Q. Do I really get my refund faster?
A. With IRS e-file you get it back in half the usual
time. It's even faster and safer if you have your
refund deposited directly to your bank account in as
few as 10 days. ask you Authorized IRS e-file
Provider for the estimated date of deposit. For more
information about Direct Deposit, go to the Financial
Management Service (FMS) web site,
Q. Should I wait until April 15 to file
electronically if I owe taxes?
A. No. You can e-file your return as soon as it is
completed. Then send your payment in on or before
April 15. Ramco Financial Group (RFG) will
give you a payment voucher and addressed envelope to
make sure it goes to the correct IRS center.
Q. What is a Form 9465, Installment Agreement
A. This form is available to our firm. An approved
Installment Agreement allows you to make a
predetermined series of partial payments after April
15. Regardless of how you pay, you are responsible
for paying the amount of tax due by April 15 of each
year or you will be subject to late payment penalties
Q. Do I have a greater chance of getting
audited by the IRS if I use IRS e-file?
A. No. The chance of an audit of an e-filed return is
no greater than with a paper return.
Q. How do I know that the IRS really has my
A. The IRS notifies your Authorized IRS e-file
Provider within 48 hours of transmission that your
return information was received. If the IRS detects
any errors, it sends a message back to our firm
indicating the error. Our firm will correct the error
and notify you to let you know what the error was. We
will then retransmit your returns to the IRS.
Q. Can my state tax return be e-filed with my
Federal return at the same time?
A. Most states and the District of Columbia currently
participating in the IRS e-file program. Some of
these states have returns that can't be filed
electronically unless it is with the Federal return.
Other states will be filed as independent states -
meaning that they can be filed without the Federal
return attached to it. The Georgia return needs to be
filed with the Federal return.
Q. If my return is electronic, how do I sign
A. The most convenient way for you to sign your
electronic return is to use a Personal Identification
Number (PIN). It's completely paperless! Our firm has
you sign a document that shows that you agree with
the numbers in the return and is allowing us to
e-file your return for you. The signed forms stay at
our firm for four years.
Q. What if I owe and cannot pay the full
balance due on my taxes?
A. The tax preparation software used by our firm can
allow you to make partial payments. In this case, you
can make a payment for less than the balance due
amount on your return. If you cannot pay in full by
April 15, you can file Form 9465, Installment