FAQs & Tutorials

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For most individuals, tax time rolls around once a year and it's tough to recall the steps from last year. No problem. We understand! We're always happy to assist you with any questions you may have getting started. You can also utilize this quick list of frequently asked questions & tutorials to help you get moving again.






How much will my tax preparation cost?

This is by far the most frequently asked question. All of our customers are unique! No two of you are alike. Your tax situation is not identical to anyone else’s and unfortunately, this means that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of cost. The complexity of your tax situation determines the forms that are required to be filed and the forms that are required to be filed ultimately determine the cost.

For example, if you work as an employee, do not plan to itemize your deductions and have no dependents, your return will likely be in the lower-end of our range. If you itemize your deductions (such as mortgage interest, real estate taxes, charitable donations, etc.) or have child and dependent care costs, your return will likely be in the middle of our range. If you own a rental property or own your own business, the complexity of your tax situation will likely place your return in the higher-end of our range. 

For more information on pricing, give us a call (251-947-2470) or email us at We'll walk you through an estimated price range based on your current situation.

How long does tax preparation typically take?

We work on a FIRST-IN, FIRST-OUT basis. The sooner we receive your documentation, the faster we can complete your return! Here's a few pointers to help move the process along and ensure that your tax preparation is timely & cost effective:

  • Stay organized throughout the year!
    Organized record keeping, thorough responses and timely communication are the keys to success.
  • If additional information is requested, don't delay your response!
    The tax professional will likely need to review the original input of data if there is a delayed response time. This typically adds considerable time to fully prepare your tax return and additional fees may apply.
  • Upon our completion of your return, review your return and finalize your e-file documentation as quickly as possible.
    Multiple requests for review and e-file documentation increase the processing time involved to complete your return.

Important Deadlines*:

  • Partnership & Corporation Documentation Due: February 1, 2021
  • Individuals with Single Member LLC Documentation Due: March 1, 2021
  • Individual Documentation Due: March 25, 2021

ALL documentation needed to complete your tax return, including the Tax Questionnaire(s) must be received no later than due date(s) above in order to file a complete return by the original filing due date(s). Unless you plan to file an extension, expedited fees may apply if any documentation is received after this date.

*If your due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is delayed until the next business day.

What documentation do you need to accurately prepare my tax return?

Great question! Download our Tax Questionnaire(s) below to help you gather the proper documentation for tax preparation.

You can also download our TAX ORGANIZERS to help ensure that you don't miss any important deductions!

What does it mean to file an "extension"?

  • An extension is a form filed with the IRS to request additional time to file your federal tax return. The extension period is six months, which extends the due date for submitting your final returns from April 15 to Oct. 15.* In some states, filing an extension with the IRS will automatically extend the time to complete a state income tax return.
  • More time to File, NOT more time to Pay: Filing an extension grants you additional time to submit your complete and accurate return, but you still need to estimate whether you will owe any taxes and pay that estimated balance by April 15.*
  • Extending your return allows you and your CPA more time to prepare your tax return to ensure filing of an accurate tax return. In many cases, you may still be waiting for additional information (e.g., Schedule K-1, corrected 1099s, etc.) to complete your return.

*If your due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is delayed until the next business day.

Am I more likely to be audited if I extend?

  • Extending will NOT increase your likelihood of being audited by the IRS.
  • It is better to file an extension rather than to file a return that is incomplete or that you have not had time to review carefully before signing.
  • A tax extension may lower your chance of an audit.
    The government loves quotas and IRS agents must audit a certain number of tax returns every year. However, they usually fill their quotas by the April filing deadline. Potentially take yourself out of audit pile by filing an tax extension and breathe a sign of relief.

What are the primary benefits of extending my tax return?

  • A tax extension gives you more time to get paperwork in order.
    It provides for additional time to file returns without penalty when you are waiting for missing information or tax documents (such as corrected 1099s). Just remember that an extension provides additional time to file, but not additional time to pay. Penalties may be assessed if sufficient payment is not remitted with the extension.
  • You might be able to take advantage of new tax laws.
    Tax laws are continuously changing. If you obtain a six-month extension to file your tax return (in October) you just might be eligible for a brand new tax deduction or a change in taxpayer status.
  • A tax extension may lower your chance of an audit.
    The government loves quotas and IRS agents must audit a certain number of tax returns every year. However, they usually fill their quotas by the April filing deadline. Potentially take yourself out of audit pile by filing an tax extension and breathe a sign of relief.

Should I do anything differently if I file an extension?

  • No, you still should provide whatever information you have as early as possible or as soon as it becomes available.
  • Expect to pay any anticipated taxes owed by April 15.*
    You still need to submit all available tax information so we can determine if you will have a balance due or if you can expect a refund.
  • First quarter estimated tax payment due April 15.*
    If you are required to make quarterly estimated tax payments, your first quarter estimated tax payment is due April 15.* We recommend that you pay the balance due for last year and your first quarter estimated tax payment for this year with your extension.

*If your due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is delayed until the next business day.

What do you need from me to file my extension?

The big question with an extension is if you need to make a tax payment with the extension. In order to file an extension, we need to establish an understanding of your estimated tax situation.

The following are potential situations:

  • Are you expecting a refund?: We can electronically file your extension without much information.
  • Are you expecting to owe tax and you plan to pay with your extension? We will need to provide you with a payment voucher so you can make a payment.
  • Are you expecting to owe tax but you are not able to pay ALL of it at this time? We will need to provide you with a payment voucher so you can make a payment of the amount you can pay at this time.
  • Are you expecting to owe tax but you are not able to pay ANY at this time? We can electronically file your extension once we establish an estimate of the amount of tax you expect to owe.
    • Although you are not required to make a payment of the tax you estimate as due, Form 4868 does not extend the time to pay taxes. If you do not pay the amount due by the regular due date, you will owe interest. You may also be charged penalties.
  • We can file a “$0” extension if you can’t provide us with details at this time.

We will need the following information to properly file your extension:

  1. Signed Engagement Letter & Deposit
  2. Current Year Tax Situation (see examples above)
  3. Estimated Taxable Income & Estimated Deductions
  4. Taxes paid via withholdings and/or estimated tax payments

The more information you can provide, the more accurately we can file your extension giving you an additional 6-months to gather information and file your tax return!

What is ShareFile?

To enhance our services to you, we utilize ShareFile, a collaborative, virtual workspace in a protected, online environment. ShareFile permits real-time collaboration across geographic boundaries and time zones and allows us to share data, engagement information, knowledge, and deliverables in a protected environment. It also allows you to send and share files with us from any device! Whether you're in the office, at home or on the go, you'll have access to your files anywhere, any time.

In order to utilize ShareFile, you will be required to activate a personal ShareFile account thereby agreeing to be bound by the terms, conditions and limitations of our client portal agreement found here.

ShareFile also features RightSignature allowing you to electronically sign your documents and automatically send those documents back to us via your secure ShareFile account.

With ShareFile, you'll never have to mail another document or drive to our office to sign any paperwork! Once you have completed our new customer setup, your secure ShareFile account will be FREE for you to access any time of the year as long as you are a current customer.

What if I forget my ShareFile password?

No problem! Follow the link below to an instructional video or call our office to have your password reset.
How to Reset my ShareFile Password

How do I upload a file to ShareFile?

There are two main folders in your ShareFile account:

  • Client Provided: If you are trying to upload a file to your account, be sure to select your "Client Provided" folder. This is where you provide us any/all information that we need to complete your tax preparation and/or other provided service.
  • TFG Provided: This folder will have any/all documentation that we provide for your review and/or signature.

There are multiple ways to easily upload your files. ShareFile provides great instructions on how to upload files as well as troubleshooting information here: How to Upload a File to ShareFile

I can't find my ShareFile folder. How do I locate it?

Once you have successfully logged into your secure ShareFile account, go to the left-hand column on your screen and click "Shared Folders". Your Client Provided and TFG Provided folders should then become visible.

Still need a little extra help? Just give us a call and our administrative team is ready to assit you.

What is RightSignature?

RightSignature replicates the comfort and familiarity of the pen-and-paper signing experience in a browser-based electronic signature application. RightSignature’s electronic signature software provides ironclad security, robust legal defensibility and an elegant user experience, all while producing executed documents complete with handwritten signatures.

Do I need a separate account for RightSignature?

No, you do not need a separate RightSignature account. Simply follow the instructions on the email that you receive to sign the requested documents. RightSignature will work seamlessly with your secure ShareFile account notifying our office when your signature is complete.

Can I electronically sign documents via RightSignature using my smartphone?

Yes! PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android and more — no downloads, no plugins, no hassle. Just click the link in the email we send to you via RightSignature and follow the step-by-step instructions to place your electronic signature.

Why do emails from The Faircloth Group not show up in my inbox?

Unfortunately, we have no control over the placement of emails in webmail clients such as Gmail, and there is no proven way to “beat” Gmail’s algorithms. Only the Gmail user can move our emails from the Promotions tab to the Primary tab.

Here's a few quick instructions to ensure that you receive all of our emails in the future:

  • Please add email address to your Contacts
    Emails from your Contact list should always go to your primary inbox.
  • Please move The Faircloth Group emails to your Primary tab or Inbox
    You can teach Gmail where to deliver your messages. When you move one of our emails from the Promotions tab to the Primary tab, Gmail asks whether it should always deliver our emails there. Please select YES!!