Tax Prep 2023

Updated December 12, 2022

Tax Preparation Procedures for 2023 (2022 Returns and Earlier)

We are primarily a virtual business. Most of our business is handled remotely and electronically. Keeping our physical “footprint” small helps us keep our services affordable. We will discuss your return by phone or email and exchange documents through our portal or by mail. This page will guide you through every step of the process. (Click the FAQ headers in each section for answers to common questions.)

This page is for personal tax returns (form 1040), including self-employed individuals filing Schedule C and landlords filing Schedule E.

If you are interested in becoming a client, send us a message.

▶ If we are preparing a different type of return for you (corporation, partnership, non-profit, estate, or trust), information will be posted soon.

Getting Ready

You can start these preliminary steps while waiting for your tax paperwork to arrive (or while waiting for the ball to drop on December 31).

  1. Verify you can access your client portal (click here for more information). If you have problems, contact your preparer.
    If you have used your portal successfully in the past and cannot remember your password, there’s a link to reset it on the logon page.
    If you were a Brent Financial Group client, BFG used the same portal company. Make sure you see our logo and name on the login page are ours. If you have old bookmarks for their portal, please delete them. We cannot access any information you might send to the old portal.

  2. Decide how you will send us your tax documents.
    You can send scanned copies through your portal, mail or ship documents to our mailing address, send documents by fax, or drop off documents at our mail drop in Wappinger. Click here to learn more on your options.
    If you mail or drop-off documents, they will be scanned into your portal at no additional charge. All paper documents are securely shredded after scanning. Original documents can be returned to you for an additional fee.

  3. Complete your annual tax organizer. 1/2/23 - Now Available!
    Save your progress any time and resume later.
    Our questionnaire helps ensure your return is accurate and you’re paying the lowest legal amount of taxes.
    Parents of young adults and caregivers/POAs for taxpayers can complete the organizer on their behalf. (Children under age 18 do not need to complete an organizer.)
    As part of our organizer, we ask for your consent to receive text and email messages from us. Because we operate virtually, if you withhold consent it greatly impacts our ability to provide you with superior service. We don't spam you, we keep ALL your personal information private, and we never sell it to third parties.
    If you have problems completing the organizer, contact your preparer.

  4. Click here to review and sign the annual engagement letter.

We must have both your signed letter and your organizer before we can begin working on your return.

  1. Read about our tax account monitoring service and sign up.
    The service is optional, but can help us prepare an accurate return.
    It also allows us to detect potential audit issues before the IRS identifies them, saving you penalties and interest.

  2. Scan or copy both sides of your driver's license (if you are new to HVTE or if your license has changed).

If you have renewed your license or converted it to an Enhanced or REAL ID, that is a change.
We need the FRONT and BACK. All numbers and dates must be legible and not cut off, and the picture must be recognizable.
If you are a NEW client and do not have a license, please scan or copy another federal or state id that shows your photo.
Please do not send your ID by email; it's an ID theft risk. You can securely attach copies in the organizer, send them through your portal, use the secure information form on our website, or provide us with paper copies.

  1. If you have any of these special situations, click for additional information that we will need:

You have income from self-employment (clients pay you directly) or as a contractor (you receive a 1099-NEC or 1099-MISC).

You are a landlord

You own or trade virtual currency (Bitcoin, Ether, Dogecoin, etc.), NFTs, or other digital assets.

You or anyone listed on your return attended college last year

  1. We recommend you use direct deposit for any tax refunds and direct debit for any tax payments.

Electronic transactions are faster, more secure, and less likely to be lost or delayed.

You can provide your bank information in your organizer or through our secure information form.

Send Us your Tax Documents

Sending your personal information by email is not secure and can expose you to identity theft. Please never email your personal information, tax documents, bank account or credit card information, copies of your license, or anything else a hacker might use to steal your identity or assets. Click here to read about our secure options.

  1. Once you have completed the questionnaire, you will be given a checklist of most of the information that you will need to provide. If you receive any tax documents that aren’t on the list, provide those too.

If you receive any tax documents that aren’t on your list, provide those too.
If you give us your original documents, we will scan them into your portal for you and shred the originals. If you prefer us to return the original documents to you, an additional fee will apply.
Please note we only scan required tax forms, not instructions or supplemental forms. We do not need, do not want, and will not scan every medical or charitable receipt. Please provide us with your total dollar amounts and keep your receipts in the event IRS or a state asks for substantiation.
If you are hand-delivering documents to our mail drop, the UPS Store has copiers available.

  1. If you can download PDF copies of documents, put those files right in your client portal -- no need to print them.

Many employers, brokers, banks, colleges and other institutions provide documents in PDF format.
If files are password protected, make sure you send us the password through our secure form.
Make sure you send us the actual PDF files, not an email that let's you access the PDF.

  1. If you are scanning your documents, it's not necessary to scan "boilerplate" text like form instructions on the back of your W-2 or 1099.

Form instructions on the back of your W-2 or 1099, inserts about additional services, and other such things are not needed.
However, if you have a brokerage account, we need all numbered pages (even if they are instructions).
We prefer documents as PDF scans rather than individual pictures. Click here for some suggestions on apps that you can use, or check your app store.
If you must take pictures and are using an iPhone, please send high-resolution images. iPhones often share tiny pictures that are hard to read.

  1. If you are self-employed, a landlord, buy or sell digital assets, or have college expenses in the family, remember to include your additional required information (see above).

  2. If you want to mail or ship your documents to us, copies are preferred. Your documents will be scanned to your client portal, but there will be an additional fee for to return paper documents to you. We securely shred all documents that are not returned.

You can hand-deliver envelopes to our mail drop at the UPS Store, 4 Marshall Road in Wappingers Falls. For your privacy and security, all documents should be in a sealed envelope and please label it with "Hudson Valley Tax Experts, #193."

You can also fax documents to us at 845-203-4099.

Return Preparation process

When you’ve provided all you documents and completed your organizer and engagement letter, we will start working on your return.

  1. After we have reviewed your organizer and documents, your preparer will contact you for any missing information or additional details.

Many questions can be resolved through email, but in some cases we will ask you to schedule a call. You can always schedule a call with your preparer, if it's easier than using email.
If you are putting documents in your portal as you receive them, rather than all at once, please email your preparer when you believe you have everything.

  1. Once your return is complete, your preparer will send you a PDF copy through your portal.

They will also review the return with you by video or other means.
Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign your return.
You are free to call us at any time, but we may not be able to answer (especially during tax season). If you schedule a call, you know we'll be free to chat.
Any videos we may send will be most helpful if you can watch on a computer or tablet. Details do not show up on a phone screen.

  1. You can electronically sign your return.

You’ll receive an email to access and sign your return. If you’re married, you’ll both receive an email.

If you’ve given us permission to text you (in your organizer), we will send you a PIN by text message to access the return for signing.

If you can’t or don’t wish to receive text messages, you will use “knowledge based authentication” (KBA) to verify your identity for signing.

For returns for children under 18, we will communicate the signing PIN to the parent.

If you opted for a paper copy of your return, it will be mailed to you along with the signature forms to be signed.

Your return will be sent to the government electronically upon receipt of your signed authorization forms and payment.

Pay for Your Tax Return

Payment in full is required before your return will be filed with the government, unless prior arrangements are made.

We accept payment via check, money order, credit card, debit card, and Venmo. Visit our payment instructions for details.

Paying the Government

If you must make payments to the IRS, New York, or another state, we provide payment coupons that you can print and mail with a check, but we strongly encourage that you consider paying directly from your bank account.

Click here for information on paying the IRS or states electronically.

If you want to pay the government with a credit card, remember they will charge a processing fee in addition to the tax you owe.

If you can’t pay what you owe, the IRS and most states will generally let you set up a payment plan. You can do that yourself or we can provide assistance for an additional fee.

If your tax debt is excessive, ask us about options that might be available.

Returns for Children & Other Dependents

  1. If your children (or other dependents) claimed on your return needs a return prepared, we can help.

Contact your preparer for pricing.
If they file their own return which has to be corrected, it will be more expensive.
Children or other dependents under age 18 who claimed do not need to fill out the organizer or sign their engagement letter.

  1. If they have their own bank account, direct deposit for refunds is recommended.

We cannot use a parents bank account for a dependent’s refund or payment.
Bank account information (name, routing and account numbers) can be submitted securely.
Bank information will also be used for any tax due under $25 (and for larger amounts if requested).

  1. Dependents age 18 or over:

Must provide their driver's license (front and back) if they have one.
Must sign their own returns. If they have an email address, the signing can be done electronically; otherwise they will need to print the signature forms and sign them in ink.
We cannot use a parents bank account for a dependent’s refund or payment.

  1. Parents of dependent children under age 18 can sign on their behalf.

We will send you the PIN to electronically sign their returns.

  1. If you are signing for someone else as POA, you must provide a fully executed copy of the POA for our records.