FAQ

What do I do if I receive a notice from the IRS about my taxes?
Don’t panic! the first thing to do is carefully read the notice—to determine why it was sent, what the IRS is requesting, and what they want you to do. It may be nothing of importance; it may even be a notice in your favor. After reading it you should bring it to our attention.

How do I find out about my refund?
The best way is to use the Check Your Refund link from the Resources pages of our website! To look up the status of your federal or state refund, you will need your social security number, filing status, and exact amount you’re expecting back.

How long do I keep my records and tax returns?
You should keep your tax returns for at least 3 years from the date the return was filed or the date the return was required to be filed, whichever is later, for Federal tax purposes and for at least 4 years for State of Michigan tax purposes.   It is recommended that you keep these records longer if possible.  See the Records Retention link on the Tax Resources page of this website for a detailed list of record types and holding periods. 

What do I need to bring when I am having my taxes prepared?
Following is a list of the more common items you should bring if you have them.
- Wage statements (Form W-2)
- Pension, or retirement income (Forms 1099-R)
- All 1099 series Forms such as 1099-MISC, 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, 1099-B, 1099-C
- Dependents' Social Security numbers and dates of birth
- Last year's tax return (for new clients)
- Information on education expenses
- Information on the sales of stocks and/or bonds
- Self-employed business income and expenses
- Lottery and/or gambling winnings and losses
- State refund amount
- Social Security and/or unemployment income
- Income and expenses from rentals
- Record of purchase or sale of real estate
- Medical and dental expenses
- Real estate and personal property taxes
- Estimated taxes or foreign taxes paid
- Cash and non-cash charitable donations
- Mortgage or home equity loan interest paid (Form 1098)
- Unreimbursed employment-related expenses
- Job-related educational expenses
- Child care expenses and provider information

- And any other items that you think may be necessary for your taxes.

What do I need to keep for my charitable contributions?

First, is your contribution cash or non-cash?

-If you make a cash donation, you must have a bank record or written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the amount of the donation. A bank record can be the cancelled check or a statement from a bank or credit union—so long as it lists the charity’s name, the date, and the amount of the contribution. Personal records such as bank registers, diaries and notes are no longer considered acceptable proof of contributions.

-Any used items (such as clothing, linens, appliances, etc.) must be in good condition and may only be deducted at the price you could reasonably ask for the item in used condition.  For contributions worth $500 or more, you must file Form 8283 (Noncash Charitable Contributions) and attach it to your Form 1040.

-All cash & non-cash contributions must be made to qualified charitable organizations.  For contributions of $250 or more, you must have a written receipt or letter from the organization before you file your tax return.