Frequently Asked Questions


What do I need to prepare my taxes?


Compile all of the tax documents you usually receive in late December or January to show all your income and other tax information for the year. These documents may include:
  • W-2s from your employers
  • 1099-MISC forms for self-employment income
  • K-1 forms for income from a partnership, small business or trust
  • 1099-SSA form showing Social Security received
  • 1099-INT (interest) and 1099-DIV (dividends) forms
  • 1099-B forms showing brokerage trades in stocks and bonds

If you have additional income not reported on a W-2 or 1099 form, such as income from rental properties, other self-employment income, or alimony, you’ll need written documentation of that, as well, which could include a spreadsheet, bank statements or other written evidence.

If you’re not sure if something qualifies as a tax-related expense or if you have questions, go ahead an bring canceled checks, receipts or spreadsheets and we’ll help you figure it out. This may include contributions to your traditional or SEP-IRA, moving expenses, college expenses, medical and dental expenses, real estate taxes, gifts to charities and churches and childcare costs. In some cases, you may receive an annual statement regarding some of these expenses that you can bring with you. Mortgage interest, for example, is reported to you on form 1098, and student loan interest is reported on form 1098-E.

If you paid estimated taxes, you’ll also need to provide us with a summary of your federal and state estimated payments and canceled checks. We have a great tax organizer we’d be happy to provide to you to help you keep everything organized and ensure that you haven’t forgotten anything relevant for you or the members of your family.

What do I need to prepare for an IRS audit?


1.  First of all, don’t panic. As your trusted financial partners, we’re here to guide you through the entire process and protect your best interests. As soon as you receive the notice, give us a call and we’ll work through it together.

2.  The first step will be to take a careful look at the specifics of the notice. Understanding what the IRS is asking for ensures that we’re well-prepared. Some audits involve only parts of a single year's tax return, while others can include entire returns for multiple years. We may need to just mail the IRS some additional information, or we may be required to meet with an IRS agent. We will be happy to accompany you to any meeting with the IRS.

3.  You might be tempted to avoid dealing with the stress and put off your response to the audit notice, but that will only make things more challenging. The sooner we can help you begin to pull your information together, to request information from others, such as charities, credit card companies, and banks, the sooner we’ll be able to resolve the issue.

Here are a few of the documents you may be asked to provide:
  • bank statements and cancelled checks
  • receipts
  • print-outs and digital copies of electronic records and logs
  • appointment books, calendars and/or journals
  • worksheets showing your calculations for each item
  • an extra copy of all documentation

4.  Once you’ve located all of the requested information, we’ll help you organize it to make the IRS agent’s job easier and to help speed the audit process.

5.  When the time comes to respond, we’ll help you deliver the information in the most appropriate way with regard to the requirements of the audit request. We can accompany you to any meeting, or in some cases, may be able to represent you without your attendance. If you need to respond by mail, we’ll help ensure that all of the proper documentation is included and that all copies and records are made and filed your information.

6.  Once you receive the results of the auditor’s findings, we can help you process any additional requirements. You may have to pay an additional amount to the IRS, return part of a refund, or you may receive money back. You also have the right to appeal the IRS agent's findings to his supervisor or the IRS Appeals Division, and you can take your case to the U.S. Tax Court, again with our expert team right alongside you for support

What do I need to know before starting a business?


Congratulations on your decision to launch a new business! Let Hayes and Associates help you get started on the right foot by helping you lay a strong financial foundation. Here is a checklist of a few of the steps you’ll want to take. Please call us for more information, because we love working with new business owners!

New Business To-Do List


Decide what type of business entity (LLC, SCorp, etc.) that you’d like to establish by letting us explain the tax aspects of each.

With the help of our legal team, we can help you understand policies and procedures regarding federal and state laws governing creation, ownership and operation of your business.

Choose your official target launch date, and decide whether a legal agreement needs to be drafted among the organization’s principals.

File with state for the Certificate of Assumed Name (DBA)

Obtain your Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

File for incorporation or file necessary LLC or partnership documents with the state.

Obtain state tax ID numbers, file required documents with the state unemployment tax department, and obtain state sales tax certificates.

Secure any city, county, or local business licenses and permits.

Open a business checking account, and determine a plan for funding the start-up.

Consider electing a board of directors if appropriate for the size and type of organization.

Set up an accounting and payroll system for your new business.

Determine your marketing strategy with regard to the business launch, and be sure to notify the local chamber of commerce, the media outlets and any business partners.

Consult with an insurance professional to obtain business liability and workers’ compensation coverage.

Review wills and estate plans of owners and/or principals.

For more information and advice to ensure your new business launches smoothly, please give us a call!