Our Frequently Asked Questions

Our Firm

Can I schedule an initial meeting to learn more about your services?


Yes. We'd be happy to shedule a 30-minute sit down meeting or phone conversation, at no charge to you. You can then learn more about us and we in tum can understand your accounting needs and tax situation. These meetings are at NO COST TO OUR CLIENTS. Please contact us at 410-418-9111 or info@tpeterscpa.com to schedule an appointment to determine how we might assist you.




What should I bring to my first appointment?


It will depend on what you want us to do for you. As a tax client, we will want to see copies of your most recently filed income tax returns – preferably the last 3 years. If you are a new business client, we will also want to see copies of your most recent financial statements. Depending on the type of engagement we are undertaking, we may also want to see your wills and estate plans, business agreements, insurance documents, investment and bank statements, employee benefit statements, divorce or separation agreement, and anything else you think might be relevant. We will make a list of additional items needed after the first meeting. Please look at our Pre-Appointment Checklist for more info.




What is the turnaround time for my tax return(s)?


We accept client tax information on a first-in first-out basis each year. Our work flow provides a faster turn-around time the earlier information is received. We strive to analyze and process all returns in a timely manner and will always keep clients abreast of the status of their work. If we cannot complete the return by April 15th we will file an extension.




Can I drop off my tax information any time?


Yes. We do request however that you contact us to schedule a brief meeting to discuss your material.




How do you ensure data security?


We understand the importance of keeping your data secure. We store all of our data in the cloud; none of your data will be stored on servers, computers or laptops that can be easily stolen or made inaccessible. Our storage is managed by a firm that is solely focused on data storage for CPA firms in an SOC compliant data center. We have significant controls over our data with reliable 24/7 access and support. Backups are conducted daily to a separate offsite secure center to ensure we don’t lose your important information due to an unexpected disaster.




Do you provide year-round service?


We are here for you twelve months a year, not just during tax season. Whether you have a simple tax question, need advice on the tax implications of a business decision, or want clarification on a government notice, feel free to give us a call (410.418.9111).




What are your hours of operation?


We are available during normal business hours, 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. We will consider making special arrangements for an appointment outside of normal business hours if necessary.





Our Services

Can your firm help me with tax returns in states other than Maryland?


Yes. We have individual usiness clients located across the USA and in other countries.




Can you help me obtain an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)?


Yes. We are an Acceptance Agent for the Internal Revenue Service. We can help you obtain an ITIN and provide you with guidance on related tax and/or business issues.




I am starting a new business. Can your firm help me?


Yes. We can help you choose the optimal business entity type as well as help you identify and deal with the numerous technical, tax and strategic issues that you are facing.




Can you help me with my QuickBooks® accounting software?


Yes. We provide support for the QuickBooks software package. With QuickBooks® Certified ProAdvisors on staff, we can provide troubleshooting as well as training sessions to help you use QuickBooks more efficiently and maximize all the benefits it provides.




Do you outsource your tax preparation services?


No. Our philosophy is to offer our clients individualized, comprehensive tax preparation services. To accomplish this, we feel that our clients are better served by in-house tax preparation.





Tax Year Documentation

What documentation should I be looking for each tax year?


Early in each tax year we prepare and distribute the following documents to all our individual clients and businesses for their attention. We prepare customized 1040 (Individual), 1041 (Fiduciary), 1065 (Partnership/LLC), and 1120/1120S (Corporate) Engagement Letters according to your tax status. Go to our Documents page to download them. These documents include: 1) Engagement Letter: Print, sign, and either mail it back to us or scan it and upload it into your portal (ALL clients get this file) 2) Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance letter: Print, complete, and either mail it back to us or scan it and upload it into your portal (business and fiduciary accounts DO NOT get this file) 3) Tax Organizer or 4-page set of tax questions: Print, complete, and either mail it back to us or scan it and upload it into your portal (business and fiduciary accounts DO NOT get this file) 4) Year End Client Letter: This is your copy – do not return it to us (business and fiduciary accounts DO NOT get this file)




What is a Tax Organizer?


Our Tax Organizer is a great tool for our clients to gather and organize their tax data each tax year. It is a PDF file consisting of pages mirroring IRS tax forms, thereby allowing for easy data entry. Each client receives a custom Organizer built from their prior tax return. It contains prior-year tax data, providing a basis for new-year data. Upon completion, this document can be printed out. New clients recieve a blank Organizer. Go to our Documents page to download a sample Organizer. It is not mandatory for clients to complete this document - clients may request to not receive it.




Do I need to complete a Tax Organizer?


No. It is not mandatory for clients to complete this document - clients may request to not receive it.





Online Portal

What is your secure portal and why is it so important?


Our online portal is a browser-based tool offering a very secure way to share and collaborate electronically with our clients. We typically don't email or fax any document or file that may contain any hint of sensitive professional or personal information. In our highly visible, technologically open business world we live in today, we encourage ALL our clients who have an email address to please use our portal to share documentation with us. Go to our Secure Portal page for more info and to log in.




How do I access my client portal?


Go our Secure Portal page to log in. All logins require an email address and password. Please contact us if you need your password reset.




I've forgotten my portal password. Can I get it reset?


Yes. Simply call us at 410-418-9111 and we'll be happy to reset it to a password of your choosing.





IRS Questions

I've received a notice from the IRS. What should I do?


If you are a client of ours, please fax (410-313-9875) or email a copy of the notice to our office as soon as possible. If we prepared your return, quite often the notice can be easily resolved with no adverse effects. We may ask you to sign a Form 2848, Power of Attorney, such that we may discuss the situation directly with the IRS on your behalf. If we did not prepare your return, we will be glad to assist you in resolving the problem as quickly and favorably as possible. We will need you to sign a Form 2848, Power of Attorney, and provide us with copies of the tax return as filed with supporting documentation. If you are being audited, we can also represent you before the IRS. >>> ALL IRS CORRESPONDENCE SHOULD BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!




I received an email from the IRS stating I owe money. Is this legitimate?


Absolutely not! The IRS NEVER uses email to correspond with a taxpayer. Please view any email from an "IRS" email as a scam and disregard. Call us with any questions (410-418-9111).




My identity may have been stolen. What should I do?


Unfortunately this is a problem increasing in frequency. Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. Generally, an identity thief will use your SSN to file a false return early in the year. You may be unaware you are a victim until you try to file your taxes and learn one already has been filed using your SSN. Be alert to possible identity theft if you receive an IRS notice or letter that states that: - More than one tax return was filed using your SSN; - You owe additional tax, refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return; - IRS records indicate you received wages from an employer unknown to you. Call us immeditaly so that we make take the appropriate action: - Respond immediately to any IRS notice; - Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit; - Coach you to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper.





Our Fees

How can I pay my fee?


We of course accept checks. We also offer a FREE service to our clients to pay their fee with a credit card (AMEX, Visa, Master Card, Discover) or a debit card. Go to our Pay Your Fee page for more info.




What is your fee structure?


We get this question often. Since we offer a full range of services we've found it best not to operate under a predefined fee structure. We assess each client separately to determine the magnitude and complexity of the work involved and give each client a hard fee estimate. For businesses, we offer quarterly payment plans. We can tailor a plan for your budget.




Will I be charged for phone calls or email correspondence?


No. We want you to stay informed and ask questions before you act.





 Any Questions ? 

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, our office remains closed to the public until further notice. We are working remotely and will continue to provide uninterrupted service to our clients. Please contact us with any questions or for more information.

TRACEY S. PETERS CPA, LLC

4833 Ellicott Woods Lane

Ellicott City, MD 21043

Phone: 410.418.9111

Fax: 410.313.9875

2020 Tracey S. Peters CPA, LLC

All Rights Reserved