FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • What is the difference between Certified Public Accountants (CPA's) and accountants?

    • A CPA has demonstrated professional competence by passing a rigorous examination and meeting high standards of education. In addition, they must meet strict continuing education requirements, undergo peer review, and adhere to a stringent set of ethical standards.​

  • How do I know if I can do my own taxes or if I need to consult a CPA?​

    • The IRS estimates that on average it can take 28 ½ hours to research tax law, organize your records, and complete a standard 1040 return with three common schedules. Tax law is constantly changing, so if you are preparing your own return it is important that you are educated about these changes so you correctly fill out your forms.If you are not comfortable putting in the time and research, it may be wise to contact a CPA. As a CPA firm, Simplex is well educated and suited to efficiently prepare your return saving you time and money.

  • If you get selected for an audit by the IRS, can a CPA represent you?​

    • CPA's are authorized to represent taxpayers in an IRS audit, as are attorneys and other professionals known as enrolled agents (EA). An EA is an individual who has demonstrated technical competence in the field of taxation and is the only taxpayer representative who receives their right to practice from the U.S. government. An accountant can only represent a taxpayer before the IRS if he or she is an EA.

  • How long should I keep my tax records?​

    • For individuals - 3 years. The IRS generally has three years after the due date of your return (or the date you file it, if later) to initiate an audit, so you should keep all of your tax records at least until that time has passed.

    • For businesses - 7 years. All business records, especially sales and payroll must be kept for seven years. The IRS and the states will audit within the seven year window. Keep all federal, state and local returns indefinitely and the all supporting documents for seven (7) years.

  • Where should I keep my tax records?​

    • We recommend keeping your tax records in a safe secure location as these records contain very sensitive personal information. A fireproof locked safe is a great idea to keep records secure. Simplex also offers a secure portal through its tax software to upload and maintain documents. Contact us if this is something that you are interested in and we will send you a link to get set up!