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Frequently Asked Questions
Click below to find answers to commonly asked questions. If you still can’t find an answer to your question, please feel free to contact us.
Tax Planning & Preparation
If you haven’t worked virtually with a CPA or EA before, then up until now, you have either gone to an accountant locally and dropped off your documents in a clasp envelope, or prepared your taxes on your own through TurboTax, H&R Block, or another self-preparation-type interface. With virtual tax preparation, Eco-Tax gives you access to a secure portal where you can log in and upload your scanned or downloaded documents. You don’t have to prepare it yourself and you don’t even have to leave the house! Once the documents are uploaded, your tax preparer will begin preparation and you will have the opportunity to schedule an appointment with them. During that appointment, the preparer will go over all the documentation with you and ensure nothing is missing. When that process is complete and everything is agreed upon and confirmed, your return will be peer-reviewed by a CPA or EA and subsequently uploaded to the portal. You’ll be able to access your return directly, look it over, ask questions, and make changes. After your review is completed, you will be able to electronically authorize us to file your return. Then, we file and you’re all set! The process from start to finish no longer than 2 weeks, but can be shorter based on the availability of information.
The primary benefit of virtual tax preparation is that the entire process can be completed from the comfort of your own home. Gone are the days where you need to drive out to your accountant to get taxes done. Your tax return and your supporting documents are accessible at any time at the click of a button and you can arrange to have your taxes paid or refund received electronically with an electronic signature authorization. The virtual model is designed to be accessible and easy to use so that you can get your taxes done in a timely manner with minimal effort.
Tax planning is the practice of building and implementing strategies that will save taxpayers money and ensure that taxes are paid in a timely manner and kept up to date. Such strategies include implementing the use of a tax-deferred retirement account or changing one’s tax structure. Tax preparation is taking the relevant financial information of a business or individual and translating it into a tax return that is compliant with IRS regulations while simultaneously making sure that all benefits available to a taxpayer are capitalized on for maximum tax savings.
Proper preparation prevents poor performance! Anyone can benefit from a solid tax plan. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are well-versed in tax law and know the various tools and vehicles available to you as a taxpayer that can be used to maximize your tax deductions and savings. With an experienced staff, Eco-Tax can provide quality ideas that will ultimately get you more comfortable with navigating the tax environment and utilizing sections of the tax code to your benefit.
A Certified Public Accountant and an Enrolled Agent are similar in that they both have the authority to prepare tax returns, sign off on tax returns, represent taxpayers in cases, and deal with essentially anything related to taxes and general accounting. The primary difference, however, is that a CPA is allowed to conduct and sign off on audit engagements. An EA cannot. For the purposes of tax knowledge and working in the field, however, both designations will indicate the knowledge, training, and experience necessary to operate in the world of taxes.
As part of the membership, you will have an accountant assigned to you. You will have their email address and you are free to call in and ask questions as often as you’d like and can even schedule time with your accountant for more in-depth consultations as needed. Unlike the traditional model where a client is billed for an accountant’s time, Eco-Tax members get the benefit of unlimited consultation as needed. There is no limit on how often you can communicate.
The reality is that every taxpayer’s situation is different. Some taxpayers have W2s and some don’t. Some have investments. Some have businesses. Some have all of the above. The Eco-Tax Portal includes resources that can be used by our members to help in determining what is relevant to their tax situation and what is not. If you receive a tax document of any kind, it is generally a good practice to share it with us in the event that we need it for preparation or if we need to bring something important to your attention.
By having all of your documentation uploaded and saved in a secure portal, you will always have access to this information and are free to print it out as often as you need to in the event that you misplace a physical copy. Digital records are more accessible and readily available.
Yes! The exchange of pertinent tax information is conducted through the Eco-Tax portal accessible only to you and our firm. All members are provided with a login unique to them in order to access their tax documents, tax returns, and other valuable resources.
Bookkeeping & Accounting
The main benefit of bookkeeping services is the amount of time it saves you as a business owner. Bookkeeping can become a very time-consuming process as your business grows and the transaction volume begins to match that growth. Time spent working on the bookkeeping is time you could be spending earning more revenue for your business. That’s why it’s not a bad idea to invest in a bookkeeping service so that a trained professional with a keen eye for accounting can manage the backend work for you so you can focus on growing your business.
The purpose of bookkeeping services is to provide you with readily accessible financial and accounting information that you can share with other third parties such as banks and use to make informed financial decisions for the economic health of your business. Our accountants work with you to ensure that this information is accurate and provides a proper snapshot of where your business stands at any given moment. More specifically from a tax perspective, bookkeeping services naturally go hand in hand with tax preparation services. Clean financials make it easier to prepare an accurate income tax return that tells the story of your business for that tax year in a compliant manner.
It is extremely helpful. Having up to date records for your business will help you in many areas. Primarily, as it applies to taxes, it will allow your accountant to prepare a tax return that is consistent with the accounting information in your records. Having everything up to date, categorized correctly, and neatly presented will ensure a proper return is filed that reflects your situation. Up to date bookkeeping is also very useful for running projections for the business. Knowing where your business stands at any given point in time allows us to forecast and get a feel for what your tax liability is going to be for the year. Having this information readily accessible is also useful when applying for loans and if banks request financials, or if you need to assess your business’s growth to see if changes need to be made to improve.
Yes! As a part of the bookkeeping service, you will have an accountant assigned to you directly. It will be the responsibility of this accountant to work with you and obtain the relevant statements and documentation from you, ensure your accounts are reconciled, your transactions are properly categorized, and that your financials are compliant, clean and easy to read and understand. Your tax accountant will oversee the bookkeeper and is responsible for reviewing the financial during tax preparation to confirm accuracy and compliance.
At Eco-Tax, we strive to provide a fair price that reflects the hours of work and maintenance that goes into keeping your bookkeeping records up to date and accurate. Many variables can influence the number of hours that go into your bookkeeping and the price reflects that. The most common variables include the number of bank accounts and credit cards, transaction volume, the complexity of the transactions, and revenue levels. Prices are subject to increase as a business grows and the situation becomes more complicated, requiring more hours of work.
While accurately prepared financial statements in a bookkeeping software are sufficient for preparing a tax return, it is strongly recommended that all receipts and financial records should be stored, either physically or digitally, for 7 years in the event the IRS seeks to conduct an audit. While financial statements are very useful for quick reference, having the receipts is what ultimately proves that the financials are legitimate. QuickBooks Online even offers apps that allow you to link receipts to transactions in your records for easier access.
Typically, your transactions are imported and synced on a weekly basis so we have the transactions in the books. Reconciliation follows on a monthly basis. It is important to have the bookkeeping matching the bank statements on a month to month basis so that the information is readily available as needed and up to date.
Eco-Tax has two primary methods of accessing your bank information: Accountant’s Access or Direct Upload. Accountant’s Access involves the business owner giving Eco-Tax direct access to their account and card statements via a unique accountant’s login provided by the bank. This is easier for both parties as a bookkeeper can simply log in and get to work. Alternatively, a business owner can provide statements via Direct Upload. This involves the business owner uploading the statements monthly to the Eco-Tax portal instead. While the Accountant’s Access is ideal and the preferred method, either option will grant us the means to prepare and manage a business owner’s bookkeeping effectively.
As a bookkeeping client, you have the option to opt-in for monthly meetings, opt-in for quarterly meetings, or opt-out of meetings and schedule as needed. You will have access to your bookkeeper and accountant’s schedule all year round to ask questions when you need assistance regardless of what you opt for.
Depending on the number of bank accounts and cards, transaction volume, and the overall complexity of the transactions your business is engaged in, record keeping can very quickly become a time-consuming process. You could easily lose an entire day of revenue-generating activity by spending all that time on bookkeeping instead. That, however, is not recommended. By having an accounting professional manage your books, you can free up this time and use it for something more productive and immediately beneficial to you and your business while we handle the heavy lifting. With proper bookkeeping, you won’t have to dig through all of your receipts to compile a working financial record. Eco-Tax can provide an accurate and compliant tax return based on solid financials and ensure that all deductible expenses get deducted and all figures are reported correctly.
As a general rule, Eco-Tax is permitted to offer guidance and answers to your more general inquiries regarding taxes and accounting as a whole. However, should you require Eco-Tax to engage in actual hands on work, such as financial statement preparation or review, that is a separate service from the tax membership.
In the long term, when transactions are more numerous and complex, we strongly encourage clients to use QuickBooks Online. It is an online, subscription-based service that is constantly growing and improving to provide a streamlined record-keeping experience for small businesses across the country. Also, Eco-Tax can offer QuickBooks Online at a discounted rate and by inviting us to your QuickBooks account, we can access and see your books in real-time.
Yes! Eco-Tax currently has a partnership with Quickbooks Online. We offer our clients 30% off of the retail price listed online. If you already have a Quickbooks Online account established, we cannot apply our discount to your established account. This discount is only eligible for newly created Quickbooks Online accounts.
Yes! If you are a bookkeeping client, we will export your desktop file to Quickbooks Online for you. This can be done for no additional charge and is included in your bookkeeping service with us. However, you cannot export from QBO to Desktop.
Yes! All of our accountants have a broad range of experience with all software such as Wave, Xero, Freshbooks, Zohobooks, etc.
Yes, we offer QBO Training Sessions, where we walk you through the basics of how to use the software to get you better acquainted! If you have a training session with us and you decide to sign up for bookkeeping at a later date, any fees paid toward such training sessions will be applied to your recurring fees.
Quickbooks Online provides real-time, on-demand data with financial reports available to you at your convenience. With Quickbooks Online, you can simply sync your business accounts and have your bank feeds imported instantaneously. Quickbooks Online is accessible from multiple devices wherever internet access is available, unlike Quickbooks Desktop, which is installed on your computer and can only be accessed on-site.
Every business owner has different needs and in order to find the QuickBooks Online experience that caters to those needs, we encourage you to speak to your accountant to determine the best option available to you.
In the upper right-hand corner of your QuickBooks Online interface, there are several icons including a magnifying glass, a bell, and a gear. Click the gear icon and select “Manage Users.” In the Manage users screen, you will see two options for “Users” and “Accounting firms.” Select accounting firms. All invites will be sent to the email email@example.com. Once you fill out that information, click “Invite.” A member of our staff will be notified and will accept this invitation from you. Once done, the status will read “Active” and we will be able to access your books. In case you have a general question, any accountant can jump in and assist you with your QBO file.
The services we provide include processing payroll, filing state & federal quarterly, monthly annual forms. (941,944, 940 & State Forms). We also file all W2’s, W3s 1099 & 1096’s forms for employees/employers. We remit payroll taxes on behalf of the employers.
Benefits of Eco-Tax payroll are prices are competitive. You have an individual payroll manager accessible at all times.
You have one person assigned to your account, but you can always contact your accountant for further assistance.
You can pay them weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
We have a feature available that employers can implement upon request for employees to access their pay stubs 24/7. A link is emailed to each individual with an email and password.
No, we do not set you up with a policy as it is a business owner’s responsibility, however we can guide.
Generally, if you are the Owner & Employee of the business you are not required to have workers’ compensation. If you have employees, you are required to have a workers’ compensation policy. But depending on the state, you could or could not be liable. Please contact your state to verify their requirements.
If you are more than 2% shareholder, you include the health insurance premium in box 1 (Wages on W2) but are excluded from box 3 & 5 (Social Security & Medicare).
401 (k)’s needed to be funded by December 31st. We reflect it on payroll but you need to fund your 401(k) provider.
Bill Pay is a cloud based payments platform that’s changing the way businesses pay vendors and get paid by their customers.
It’s a better way to pay. Bill Pay is an automated process that allows you to save time, trouble, and money. This is an efficient way to eliminate handwritten checks and handle your invoices rapidly and seamlessly. Bill Pay offers automated scheduling and approval features anytime, anywhere.
It will automate and simplify your accounts payable process by 60%. Avoid hiring full-time staff to manage your accounts payable, with Bill Pay the process is automated, accurate, and efficient.
Vendors will get paid via ACH, if your vendor or contractor prefers to receive paper checks, they will be automatically printed and mailed.
Bill Pay integrates seamlessly with major accounting softwares like QuickBooks, Oracle Net Suite, Xero and Sage Intacct.
Once a payment is made, it’s automatically synced over to your accounting software. You save time on duplicate data entry, reduce chance of manual entry errors and always have up-to-date books.
You can sign in to your tax portal by going to www.eco-tax.com. From here you will see a “Member Login” option on the top right-hand side. Enter the credentials emailed to you from our Customer Support Team that was provided during your initial onboarding process. You cannot create your tax portal, we must provide this information for you.
You can reset your password by following the prompts to reset your portal password on the login screen. If you’re having trouble resetting your password you can call 1(866) 968-4848 to speak with a Customer Support Specialist where we can reset this for you.
To reset your Multi-Factor Authenticator (MFA), you will have to call us at 1(866) 968-4848 to speak with a Customer Support Specialist.
Once your tax return is prepared, you will need to give us authorization to e-file your tax return(s) on your behalf. You will receive a separate email from DocuSign requesting your e-signatures. You will receive one signature request per tax return. If you’re filing status on your personal income tax return is MFJ (married filing jointly), your spouse will receive a separate DocuSign request sent to their email address. The signature requests won’t be considered complete until both the taxpayer and spouse have signed the e-file authorization forms. If we’re filing a business tax return and a personal income tax return, you will receive two separate email requests – one for your business signatures and another for your personal signatures. If you have partners in your business, only one signature is necessary.
We have a thorough tax preparation process which includes the following steps: (1) Uploading Tax Information, (2) Preparation, (3) CPA Review, (4) Client Review, (5) E-Filing, (6) Acceptance. As we prepare your tax return(s), we will send you detailed emails informing you of where you are at in this process. Feel free to refer to these emails or call us to confirm if anything is outstanding.
Complete the provided Business Tax Organizer found on the tax portal for the appropriate tax year. Completing the tax organizer is not mandatory but is highly recommended, especially for those that we are filing for the first year. If you maintain your own record keeping for your business, then please upload a profit and loss statement and balance sheet. If you only have your income and expenses on a spreadsheet such a Microsoft Excel, make sure to total each category of income and expenses for the year. If you have an online accounting service for your bookkeeping, write the online accounting software you use online, for example, QuickBooks Online and send us an invite (if you have not done so already) to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can gain access to your accounting information so we will get the information for your income and expenses to prepare your business tax return. If your bookkeeping is not up to date and need assistance in doing so, speak to your accountant about our bookkeeping services. Once you’ve completed your tax organizer and/or uploaded your financial statements onto the portal, we will receive an automatic notification informing us. This will trigger your tax accountant to start your tax preparation process and will be in touch with you shortly after to schedule your tax preparation appointment and walk you through the rest of this process.
If this is your first year filing with Eco-Tax, please complete our Individual Tax Organizer found on the tax portal for the appropriate tax year. There’s a condensed version and a long version. Only fill out one, whichever pertains to you. If we prepared your tax return the year before, you will also find an organizer with your prior year information pre-filled. Use this information as a tool to help you fill out the current tax year organizer, either condensed or long-form. Completing the tax organizer is not mandatory but is highly recommended, especially for those that we are filing for the first year. Once we have your information in our tax software, future filings will be more seamless for both you and your tax preparer. Once you’ve completed your tax organizer, please upload a copy along with all supporting tax documents (Ws-s, 1099’s, etc) onto the tax portal. We will receive an automatic notification informing us of your uploaded information which will then trigger your tax accountant to start your tax preparation process. We will then contact you shortly after to schedule your tax preparation appointment and walk you through the rest of this process.
Call 1(866) 968-4848 Option 2 or email email@example.com to help direct you to your tax accountant.
Give us a call to our main # (347) 587-7950, upload onto your portal, or we can send you a link so you can add your own billing information.
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