We encourage new and returning clients to use our secure file portal to send and receive documents. The secure file portal is easy to use, only a username and password are required to set up your account (not your whole life story). If you have ever downloaded a bank statement, W2, 1099, or information from your healthcare provider or insurance company you can do this. We use the same type of system and it meets the same level of security compliance that is required of banks and brokerage firms (e.g., it’s highly secure if you use a good strong password and change that password annually). The file portal helps us to meet our security compliance requirements and helps us to keep costs down (which helps us keep our prices competitive). We will also e-mail you a blank organizer or send you one via U.S. Postal Service (snail mail) at your request.
You may return your information by U.S. mail (or another courier service), by scanning and uploading it to the secure file portal, or by bringing it to the office. For the 2017 filing season only, in addition to the West Side office, the Nob Hill office is available for you to drop off documents. Business hours at the Nob Hill office are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. You may also use the outside mail slot to drop your documents after hours at the Nob Hill office only but please be sure to use a sealed envelope and to write The Gray Agency/Amber on the envelope. There are two businesses with “Gray” in the name at the Nob Hill Executive Center so be sure yours gets to me! Please note that we do not begin processing returns until we have your signed engagement letter, so don’t forget to include it with your other tax documents!
Returning Clients: You may bring your documents to the office during business hours but, as noted in the last post, we are no longer offering a free document intake appointment for returning clients. In part, this helps to increase office efficiency so that we can continue to accept new clients while also keeping prices reasonable. But, to tell the truth, part of the reason I am doing this is that I find it hard to discuss your return intelligently before I’ve had a chance to take a look at it. So I like to get the data entry done, take a look at the numbers, and then review your questions (which is why I ask you to write them on the organizer) and then reach out to you via phone or e-mail for additional discussion. If you must see me when you return your organizer, there will be a $42 surcharge (plus NM-GRT) added to your bill (and I probably won’t have any good answers to your questions beyond “I’ll need to run the numbers and/or do some more research.”).
New Clients: When you have everything ready, please call the office to set up an intake appointment. As a rule, I like to do intake appointments in person in my office when you are returning your organizer (or via Skype for new out of town or out of state clients who return their organizers by mail or upload). In rare cases, I will arrange a meeting at your home or someplace other than my office, but these visits are subject to a surcharge. This initial meeting gives us a chance to meet and go over your situation and concerns. It’s part of what you get (or what I think you should get) when you pay a professional to prepare your tax return. I’m looking to build long-term client relationships and you are entrusting me with your entire financial identity, so it’s important that we meet face to face at least once. Best practices require that I verify the identification of all new clients (even if I know you, I have to check the box). Consequently, at your appointment I will need to see a state-issued driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID and a Social Security card for both the taxpayer and spouse. For any dependents claimed on the return I will need to see a Social Security card and a birth certificate. If you do not have or cannot locate these documents before your intake interview please call or e-mail the office and we can discuss acceptable substitutes.
Your organizer is date stamped when we receive it in the office and returns are processed on a first in, first out basis.