Q.  How much do you charge for tax preperation?

A.  Our fees are based on the amount forms that are used to prepare the income taxes. Everyone's taxes will vary. The less forms used of course would mean you would pay less for the preparation.


Q.  I still need to file my taxes even though my wife/husband passed away this tax year?

A.  Yes you do.  You must file either as married filing jointly for the year of death, single for any year not prior to the year of death, or qualifying widower for years immediately after the year of death.  You are not allowed to file as married filing separately for any year ending on a day on which you did not have a living spouse.  For the year of death, if you do not file as married filing jointly, there may be an obligation to file a second return for your wife as married filing separately.


Q. Do my wife/husband and I still have to file taxes together even though we are separated?

A.  No you do not.  You may pay slightly higher taxes if you file married filing separately, however if you file married filing jointly you will both be responsible for any tax liability that results.  Because of the liabilities involved, it is generally better to file separate returns if you are living apart. You can each file as married filing separately, or can file a joint return if you both want to and can agree on it.


Q. Who can I count as a dependent?

A.  You can claim an exemption on your taxes for each of your dependents.  Qualifying dependents can include your child, stepchild, foster child, sibling or step-sibling, or any of their children, such as your grandchild.  In order to qualify for an exemption, a dependent must be under 19 or be a full-time student under the age of 24.  The dependent must live with you for at least 6 months a year, and must not provide more than half of hers/his own support.

Relatives who can qualify as dependents without having lived in your home for the entire tax year include children, grandchildren, stepchildren, siblings, half siblings, step-siblings, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, stepparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, fathers-in-law, mothers-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law or sisters-in-law.


Q. What if I need to change my address?

A.  If your address has changed, you need to notify the IRS to ensure you receive any IRS refund or correspondence. If you change your address before filing your return, you may correct the address legibly on the mailing label from your tax package or write the new address in the appropriate boxes on your return when you file.  When your return is processed, the IRS will update your records. If you change your address after filing your return, you should notify the post office that services your old address.  Because not all post offices forward government checks, notifying the post office that services your old address ensures that your mail will be forwarded, but not necessarily your refund check.

To change your address with the IRS, you may complete a Form 8822, Change of Address, and send it to the address shown on the form.  You may download the form from the IRS website at www.irs.gov or order it by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

You may also write to the IRS to inform them of your address change.  If you write, your full name, old and new addresses, and your Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number and your signature will be needed.  If you filed a joint return, you should provide the same information and signatures for both spouses.  Send your written address change information to the campus where you filed your last return.  The campus addresses are listed in the instructions to the tax forms.

If you filed a joint return and you and/or your spouse have since established separate residences, you both should notify the IRS of your new addresses.


Q. Where can I get forms for the current tax year?

A.  For Federal, the IRS website provides forms and instructions in PDF format that are available for download.  Please visit their website at:

For the State of California forms and publications, please visit:


Q. Do I qualify for electronic filing?

A.  Most taxpayers qualify for electronic filing.  Some of the rare situations in which you may not qualify include:

You do not currently live in the United States

You earned income from a state in which you do not live

Your filing status is married filing separately and you live in a state that is subject to community property rules

Your status is married filing jointly, only one spouse earned income, and you are claiming Child Care Credit.  Please note that all three must apply to disqualify you

You received a waiver from the IRS


Q. What are the tax law changes this year?

A.  Currently, with a series of unresolved tax issues, these are some of the tax law changes that could impact you:

Capital gains and losses new form added 8949

S-E health insurance deductions

Non business energy property credit

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemption amounts have significantly increased

Business mileage deduction rates have been increased

Schedules L and M are gone

For California: Dependent exemptions credit have increased for $99.00 to $315.00

For California: Child and dependent care non-refundable

For California: Mortgage forgivness debt relief extended


Q. How do I adjust my tax withholdings?

A.  If you are not having enough tax withheld, or you are having too much tax withheld, you should either increase or decrease your withholding.

You increase or decrease your withholding by filling out a new Form W-4 and giving it to your employer.  You can get a blank Form W-4 from your employer, or print the form from the IRS website at www.irs.gov.


Q. What if I can’t pay my taxes?

A.  First of all, don’t panic.  If you cannot pay the full amount of taxes you owe, you should still file your return by the deadline and pay as much as you can to avoid penalties and interest.  You also should contact the IRS to discuss your payment options at 1-800-829-1040.  The agency may be able to provide some relief such as a short-term extension to pay, an installment agreement or an offer in compromise.  In some cases, the agency may be able to waive penalties.  However, the agency is unable to waive interest charges which accrue on unpaid tax bills.