Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Umbrella answers some common questions that many clients have asked.

Tax Advisory + Preparation

How do I send you my tax documents?

I use a secure client portal to share information. I will communicate with you in this online portal, and you will also be able to upload your tax documents here. The secure portal also includes a messaging system that allows you to communicate with me in real-time. You can even use my secure portal on your mobile device (download on Apple or Android devices).

What happens after I upload my tax documents?

Once all your tax documents are uploaded, I will get to work preparing your tax returns. I strive to have your tax returns ready for your review within 15 business days after I receive ALL documents. I may ask clarifying questions before I am able to finalize your tax returns, so the speed of preparation directly depends on the speed of your responses back to me as well.

How do I know what documents I need for my taxes?

My secure portal is designed to take you through a step-by-step process that gathers each piece of information and documentation we need to prepare accurate tax returns on your behalf. The portal will take it one step at a time! At a bare minimum, all tax returns will always require your full name, mailing address, taxpayer identification number, telephone number, email address, date of birth, copy of a valid photo ID, and any income documents you've received.

If Financial Umbrella doesn't do my bookkeeping, can I still get my business taxes done?

Absolutely! I'll generally want to take a look at the year's books to make sure they meet my standards, but many of our tax clients don't do their business bookkeeping with Financial Umbrella. I just ask that you are a service-based business or nonprofit organization, not product-based.

What if I lost some of my tax documents?

An inherent limitation in the tax preparation process is that any tax professional is only aware of the information you provide.

Unfortunately, even tax professionals do not have a method of obtaining lost information on your behalf. If you've lost a W-2 form, I recommend getting in contact with the employer that issued the W-2 to request a reprint.

Another option is to use the IRS' online Get Transcript tool to obtain wage & income transcripts that list Federal tax information from all income documents the IRS received copies of. However, please be aware these wage & income tax transcripts from the IRS do not include state or local tax information, so there will still be missing information that remains even after obtaining IRS transcripts.

Can Financial Umbrella handle multiple years of tax filings?

Absolutely! The pricing reflected on my tax services page only reflects one year of filings, but simply get in touch to get a quote for multiple years of filings.

How do my state and local tax returns work?

One state and one local tax return are included in all of my tax return packages - whether you are an individual taxpayer, a business, or a nonprofit organization. I also help many clients that have multi-state filing obligations, such as when you work in one state and live in a different state. If you need to file in more than one state or locality, just get in touch.

Tax Relief

I received a notice for letter from the IRS.

Each year, millions of taxpayers receive letters or notices from the IRS. While often harmless, there are cases that require attention, like owing back taxes or neglecting to file. It's possible they could just be notifying you of delays in processing, or they could be requesting more information. But, if the IRS is seeking payment, it may resort to measures like wage garnishment, liens, or bank levies. Follow the instructions on the notice, and you have any questions, get in touch with me.

I owe the IRS but don't know how I'll be able to pay.

One option is the IRS Offer in Compromise program, a powerful opportunity to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. With expert guidance, it's possible to eliminate your taxes, along with penalties and interest, at a significant discount. There's no fixed minimum amount, especially when the offer is meticulously prepared. In fact, your debt may be resolved for just 5-15% of the current owed amount.

If the IRS Offer in Compromise program isn't an option for you, consider a Payment Plan as an alternative solution. This arrangement grants you extra time to settle your tax debts. While penalties and interest will persist on the remaining balance, it provides a structured approach to gradually pay off what you owe.

The best option for you will depend on your unique financial and tax situation, so feel free to get in touch.

I have tax returns that are past due.

If you've fallen behind on filing your tax returns, you're not alone. Life changes or overwhelming circumstances can lead to this situation, but inaction only exacerbates it. The IRS estimates that over a million taxpayers face this issue each year. No matter your filing status or situation, I am here to assist you. My services include reconstructing lost records, preparing and submitting overdue returns, negotiating with the IRS, and exploring options like Offers in Compromise and Installment Agreements. It's never too late to address this, and you may even be entitled to a refund or have the opportunity to reduce your owed amount. Filing late is always better than not filing at all, so contact me today and I'll start to get everything straightened out for you.

How much do your tax relief services cost?

My fees vary for this type of service since it is personalized to your tax issues. Expect my fees to be at least $1,500 once your tax issues are solved. This includes all the work I'll do to get your issue solved once and for all. (If I get a $5,000 tax bill forgiven, most would pay $1,500 to save $3,500.)

Accounting + Payroll

What do I need to know to start bookkeeping services?

I have three requirements that allow me to deliver the most accurate bookkeeping and accounting services:

(1) Electronic transaction access from your bank (most banks have this)

(2) Expense reporting software (we get you set up on Quickbooks Online)

(3) No commingling of personal expenses in your business - this is a big one!

Is there support included? Can I ask questions?

Absolutely! Support and questions are included in your plan, and actively encouraged. Bookkeeping and payroll are services that are very much a two-way street when it comes to communication, so I expect to develop communication with you on a regular basis.

Do you provide bookkeeping and payroll software?

Yes, I use industry-standard bookkeeping and payroll software that you will gain a subscription to as part of my services. For bookkeeping, I prefer Quickbooks Online as I am a Quickbooks ProAdvisor (meaning I am a licensed expert in everything to do with Quickbooks). For payroll, I usually use Gusto.

If you are already using a bookkeeping or payroll system you love, that's okay with me - provided that I know how to use it so we can work together! I help clients with Quickbooks Online, Xero, Freshbooks, Wave, Gusto, ADP, OnPay, and more.

Can I migrate from another accounting system?

Yes, I have done this for a number of clients, but it may not be necessary. If you're already working with a system and love it, I wouldn't dream of making you switch - as long as I am familiar with it! I prefer to set up new clients on Quickbooks Online, but also work with Xero, Freshbooks, and Wave.

Does Financial Umbrella handle W-2 and 1099 forms?

Sure do! If you have payroll services with me, that includes preparation, filing, and mailing of W-2 forms, as well as 1099 forms for contractors paid through your payroll software package. If you have bookkeeping services with me, that includes preparation, filing, and mailing of 1099 forms to all necessary vendors and independent contractors. I can also provide 1099 services even if your books aren't done by Financial Umbrella - I would just need some extra information from you to ensure everything is up to snuff.

Does Financial Umbrella handle sales tax filings?

Yes! I can handle filing sales and use tax returns for your business, no matter how many states you do business in!

Business Formation

What is a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

A Limited Liability Company, or LLC, can be best described as a hybrid between a corporation and a partnership. It provides easy “pass-through” taxation like a Sole Proprietorship/Partnership, with the liability protection of a corporation.

How is an LLC managed and organized?

An LLC is organized with members who own the business and managers who handle daily operations. Any LLC can be managed by either its members or by Managers. An LLC may even be owned by another LLC.

The most common type of LLC is a Member-Managed LLC. The company is managed like a partnership or sole proprietorship in a corporation. Each Member is involved in daily operations. Members may be assigned titles, such as “President” or “Treasurer”, but it’s not necessary. Most LLC owners just refer to themselves as “Managing Member” or simply “Member”.

In a Manager-Managed LLC, the company designates a Manager or Managers who may or may not be Members. They run the daily operations of the company. The other Members may or may not be involved in the daily activities. They simply provide money or assets for the managers to operate the company. This is fairly rare for small businesses.

How long does it take to form an LLC or corporation?

I process most orders in just a few business days once we receive your initial formation questionnaire back completed. However, how long the state will take to process the paperwork once they receive it varies widely depending on the state (and the season). Some states take 3 days, others take 3-4 weeks or longer. Upon ordering my new business formation services, I will provide an estimated time to process an order in your selected state.

I also offer expedited services that can speed up the process. The expedite fees vary from state to state.

Can I form an LLC or corporation in one state but be based in another?

Yes, there are many reasons a company would form an LLC or corporation in a state outside where they conduct business. Some of those reasons are related to taxation and ownership transparency. Your LLC or corporation would have to be Foreign Qualified in the state of formation, and I can do that for you.

How does my business become an S-corporation?

By default, all Corporations (regardless of which state they were formed in) are known as “C-Corporations“. So, if you have not specifically filed a form to elect to become an S-Corporation, then your company is still a C-Corporation. By submitting a Form 2553 the IRS and adopting the appropriate corporate resolution, you can become an S-Corporation. If you utilize my S-Corporation Election service, I can prepare the resolution and the form for you and send it to the IRS (they only take submissions via mail or fax at this time). The IRS then confirms via mail within a few months.

Note that some states like California and New Jersey also require their own state version of the S-Corporation Election.


What makes Financial Umbrella different?

Traditional tax and accounting firms focus only on historical work - they simply report what has already happened in the past. I also handle your historic filings and needs, but I focus my work on helping you achieve better results in the future - and because of this, I can help our clients pay the least amount of tax possible and make more progress toward their goals.

Where are you located?

Anywhere your computer goes! I are a completely virtual tax and accounting service provider with clients all across the country. I currently reside in North Carolina.

Do you have an office? Can I make an in-person appointment?

I am a virtual tax and accounting service provider that does not hold in-person appointments. I do not have physical office space, either. Instead, I work out of my home. Rest assured, you can expect the same level of service (if not better!) than any in-person tax and accounting professional. I communicate throughout the entire process using an easy-to-navigate secure portal that even has a mobile app.

What types of businesses do you work with?

Financial Umbrella works exclusively with service-based businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations. This may include (but is not limited to) medical providers, restaurants, online creators, influencers, entrepreneurs in the service industry, janitorial providers, and other professional service providers.

I do not work with businesses whose main purpose is to sell products.

Financial Umbrella brings years of experience.

Get in touch.

I am readily available for scheduled chats, calls, and video conferences, ensuring easy accessibility for all your needs and preferences.
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