If you bank with Columbia Bank then you are probably aware that Columbia Bank has an upcoming merger and divestiture. Some Columbia Bank branches are merging with Umpqua and some are being sold to a new financial institution. The branches in White Salmon and Goldendale are being sold to 1st Security Bank.
You will want to make sure that you provide your new bank account and routing information to any entity that makes electronic payments on your behalf for taxes or payroll. If you normally receive a tax refund from the IRS please be sure you provide your tax preparer with accurate banking information as well.
Please contact our office if you have any questions or need to update your information and please contact your local banking branch for further information on the merger.
Herman & Associates, CPAs are back to regular Off Season hours Monday thru Thursday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Fridays 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
In order to minimize the risk of transmission of Covid-19 we are still advocating for the use of email and our portal system for dropping off and accessing information. If you aren’t technologically inclined, you can physically drop off your information and pick it up when it is completed. If you don’t have to meet with someone in person to resolve issues, it is preferred that you email your preparer with any questions or concerns. If you do need to physically come into our office, please consider wearing your mask for your safety.
In general, we do not need to meet with a client to prepare a personal tax return. We will email any questions we may have after reviewing the information provided. If you have specific issues you want to bring to our attention, you can do so by marking your organizer or emailing your tax preparer directly.
Thank you for your patience during this time.
In the midst of today's "new economy", we don't hear enough people talking about the old economy. We strive to do business the old fashioned way while still providing you with top-notch service. We believe in long-term relationships, developing staff, and honoring our commitments. We believe that we can best serve your needs if we know you and your business intimately. Ultimately, we believe that our success depends on you.
We are merging today's technological opportunities with our beliefs about how business should be done. This website is meant to provide you with additional information and an outlet of communication.
Our office offers a variety of services. We prepare individual tax returns, corporate tax returns, partnership tax returns as well as payroll services and excise reporting. If you have any questions please feel free to call our office.
Completion policy and extensions:
Please be prepared for the possibility of our office putting your tax return on extension as we attempt to navigate the new tax law and respond to its requirements for all of our clients. We understand that there is an aversion to extensions due to the rumor that being put on extension may be a trigger for audit. However, no studies or evidence exists to support this claim. Audits are selected based on line items on the tax returns that are questionable, not based on when a person files their return. Our office will not be able to make any guarantees regarding whether or not we will need to put your return on extension. We want to provide all of our clients’ with the best tax advice and preparation we can under this new tax law and we feel extending some of our clientele may be the best way to provide these superior services. However, if you feel that an extension is not in your best interest we will harbor no ill will should you chose to seek other representation.
If you normally extend or have no aversion to extending, please contact our office as early in the year as you can so we can get you extended early and give you peace of mind.
Billing practices and collection policy:
The tax return fee structure is based on the meeting time with your CPA or tax preparer, forms prepared, a processing fee, and, if required, additional accounting time. All tax return fees are due upon receipt of the return. Fees not paid at the time of pickup, will be assessed 1.5% interest (monthly) on the balance due. Accounts that are not paid in full within 6 months will be forwarded to our collection agency and may affect your credit report. We do accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards for payment.
Beginning in 2021, your bill will include a charge for the time spent meeting with your tax preparer. In a majority of cases, a sit down meeting is not required in order for us to efficiently complete your tax return. If you have specific issues that you need to discuss that are outside of the normal return preparation, we do encourage you to schedule an appointment. Our billing rates for meetings for 2021 are as follows: $187 per hour from January through April and August through October. We offer a reduced hourly rate for “off season” months. The billing rate for meetings from May through July and November and December is $140 per hour.
The purpose of the organizer is for you to provide our office with totals of income and expenses to report on your tax return. If you provide our office with receipts, invoices or checkbook detail and we must extract the totals, we will charge an additional accounting fee for this service. Additionally, if you provide our office with a volume of information, please remember to pick it up when you pick up your return. If we have to mail the documents back to you, you will be charged the postage fee to do this.
The best way to minimize your billing is to provide our office with accurate books and information to minimize the accounting fees assessed and to use our firm portal to submit information or pick up your information at the time you pick up your return.
If you chose to use our portal option, please email your regular tax preparer or our email@example.com email account to inform our office you have uploaded information so that we know to access your account as soon as you upload the information and to quickly assess your tax documents. If you are not set up on our portal and would like to be, please contact our office so we can get you set up.
Our CPAs and staff are available for in person appointments throughout the year. If you wish to meet with a staff member, call our office and schedule a time for the meeting. In order to maintain a cohesive workflow process, our firm does not take walk in or same day appointments.
Understanding and Responding to an IRS notice:
IRS Notices are time sensitive and should be handled immediately.
NAVIGATING YOUR IRS NOTICE:
Every IRS notice has a “CP” # which corresponds to a particular taxing issue. You can find an explanatory bulletin for each CP # - “Understanding your CP_#_Notice” – on the IRS.gov website.
Common CP Notice Types:
Review info, upper right corner of page 1:
-CP Notice #
WHAT TO DO:
For notices that show a balance due, the IRS will continue to mail you letters and accrue interest.
CP14: If you had any unpaid taxes due after the filing deadline of April 15, you will receive this notice. The notice will outline the penalties and interest assessed on the unpaid balance. If you know that you had an unpaid balance, you will owe this additional money to the IRS. We suggest that you pay it by the due date on the notice to avoid additional penalties and interest. If you know you paid your tax on time, you will need to substantiate the payment(s) by providing copies of cancelled checks or bank statement showing payment.
CP23: The most common reason the IRS determines that you are owed a refund is because of estimated payments that are not reflected on your tax return. You should go through your bank account or credit card records to see if you can verify payments made. Compare your payment records with the amount shown on your tax return and in the IRS notice.
Often, the IRS will send out a refund check with no explanation. You may receive the CP Notice up to 2 weeks after receiving the check. If you were not expecting a refund, you can call the IRS at 800-829-1040 for further explanation.
Be sure to keep a copy of all notices, correspondence, and proof of mailing with your tax documents.
Please make sure your tax preparer gets a copy of the notice to keep with your permanent records. We strongly suggest that you mail all correspondence via USPS certified return receipt mail.
You may receive a state notice for many of the same reasons that you receive an IRS notice.
As with a Federal notice, you will want to compare the state findings to your state income tax return and provide any documentation that they request or that supports your tax return.
If you bring an IRS or State Notice to our office for review, we will gladly do that. But be advised that we may ask you to provide documents as outlined here (and we may bill you for our services ??? do we want to say this?)
Related Topic – SCAMMER ALERT for fraudulent IRS notices and phone calls claiming to be from the IRS.
Scammers are getting increasingly tricky!
Many people are getting wise to their robo-calls threatening legal action, but scammers are refining their techniques to prey on unassuming taxpayers. Until recently, paper mail correspondence from the IRS could be reasonably trusted, but scam letters are surfacing that look almost identical to legitimate IRS correspondence.
Here are a few tips to help you identify whether a letter is legitimate or not:
If you have received an IRS notice and have any suspicion that it may be fraudulent, take it to your tax preparer as soon as possible. If it is fraud, your tax preparer should be able to tell you quickly. If it is legitimate, your tax preparer will be able to help you respond to it.
You can also send us a message directly through the contact page of this website.