Hello wonderful tax clients!
You're here, you made it. And I appreciate you so so much. It was quite a year, and we have one last big chore before we can really bid 2020 goodbye – we have to do 2020 taxes. I know, I know. But I am here for you, and together, we will get through it.
As always, there will be a LOT of info in this January welcome letter, so please read it thoroughly. I will also be posting the letter to my website on my (new!) blog so you can find it there if you lose it.
1. Scheduling – As most of you know, I have moved to Georgia (and yes, I got to vote in the Senate runoffs!) So as of right now, ALL appts are online. I very much want to come to NYC for a week or so in March to take care of folks who really prefer an in-person experience, but whether or not I do that will depend on how the situation looks. In October, I thought I would be able to see my parents for Christmas, and a month later that was blown to hell, so I am reserving final judgment on coming to NYC til February 15. If things are as bad as they are now, it's not looking good, but I am still holding out some hope that things might improve. In the survey I sent out in December, 78% of you indicated you would be doing your taxes online regardless, 19% of you hoped there would be an in-person option if possible and 2% wanted in-person only. If you want to weigh in, you can still take the survey here. And hopefully this will be the only possibly fully online year, in 2022 I want to come to NYC for a much longer time, so please hang with me for a year!
And as always, you can schedule up to 3 weeks in advance through my website. So for example if you want an appt for March 8, then check in February 16. Appts start Jan 18.
2. Pricing – I have made a few adjustments to my pricing system. I updated my complexity scale to better reflect things I do on your return. For most of you nothing will change, but a few people might get kicked up a level on the complexity scale, which would add $5 to $10 to your return. Next, I am no longer including one state in the base price, now all states that need to be filed will be $10 each. For most of you, this means your price will increase $10, unless you are one of my lucky FL or TX or other no-tax state residents. And now that you are seething at me, here's some good news! If you've been with me a long time, you might remember I used to have a sliding scale based on income that I had gradually phased out. I know 2020 was a really crappy year for a lot of you, so I am bringing it back just for this season! If you earned under 60k in 2020, you are eligible for a sliding scale discount of $5 to $50 depending on income and complexity.
One of the most common questions I get over email is how much I charge, which is so individualized that it's really hard for me to answer. So I got my programmer husband to make me a price quote generator on my website! So if you want to get a quote for your tax prep fee, head over there and check it out. This is meant to obviate the need to email me, so please do not email me to ask further pricing questions. I've tried to give you as much info as I can, but I know it's not perfect. If you aren't sure what level you are, try it a few different ways to see how your price might change, so you will be prepared for various scenarios. I can't know the exact price until I actually do your taxes. That's because the price depends on so many personal details that by the time I've figured all that out, I've already done your taxes, but this should give you a solid ballpark.
Of course I still have the earlybird discount, so the earlier you get done the better, as well as the returning client discount! And you can still get a $5 discount by subscribing to my YouTube channel, Parody in Blue! If you got the discount last year, you can't get it again, but if you didn't use it last year, you can get it this year! So subscribe, and take a screenshot for proof :)
3. What might be different this year? I am expecting 2020 to be a very different year tax-wise for a lot of you. I have started a blog on my website where I will be posting about different tax issues I expect to encounter in 2020 with things like unemployment and gig work, check it out! Also please be as early as you can, we are probably not getting an extended season this year so I am betting the April time will be very full very fast, so I would love to interest you in some time in February.
4. Stimulus Checks – If you didn't get the full $1200 per adult/$500 per child from April's stimulus or the $600 per person from this latest stimulus, you can potentially get it on your tax return when we file! There is a question about that on the Returning Client Form, so make sure you note it! See my blog post about the new checks.
5. PPP loans – are they for you? See my blog post on it!
6. Charity – A reminder again that we have a new above-the-line deduction for charity of up to $300, that's also on the Returning Client Form. Do hang on to receipts for that, word is the IRS is going to be stringent about it.
7. I have updated my website extensively, particularly the How It Works sections. They should hopefully answer most questions you have about doing taxes online with me, especially if you haven't done it before! I've also added the price quote feature as well as my blog where I will be addressing tax issues in the news and any updates I need to make mid-season. I try very hard to keep my website updated and as informative as possible, so check there first for general questions, and email me if you have more specific questions to you that aren't answered there.
8. As always, please stick to email for communicating with me about taxes, otherwise it's highly likely your message might fall through the cracks! Please don't text, call, or DM outside of a scheduled appt. Also, if you are referring people to me (and thank you so much for doing that, you are the best!) the best thing to give them is my website, jentaxprep.com, since it has all the info they need, and they can email me from there.
9. I have updated the Returning Client Form due to 2020 madness, and I am strongly requesting you fill it out before your appointment (and if you are doing an email return, it's an absolute necessity!) I also lightly updated the spreadsheets, but last year's are also still just fine.
10. A reminder that I am a PC, not a Mac, so please do not send me files in Apple-specific formats - no pages, numbers, or HEIC. Client forms should be doc or pdf, spreadsheets should be xls or shared in google sheets, pictures of docs should be png or jpg. Thank you!
11. I am making a series of How-To videos to help you all! I already made one for uploading things to me, and I am working on videos for how to pay taxes online to the IRS and to NY, both for a return and for estimated payments. And if I tell you I'm doing it, that will force me to get it done, so look for that soon!
Ok so I think 11 things is enough, thank you for still being with me, I am really looking forward to catching up with each and every one of you and working with you to improve your situation in this financially difficult time. Hang in there, and see you soon!