How to Get Started with

Procedural Steps for Performance of Engagement
(The example below is of a typical engagement, and may vary depending on unique client factors)

The following steps would commence after either a verbal or written agreement to do business had occurred, either by telephone or email exchange.

STEP ONE: Request PDF copies of our Client Agreement and Tax Organizer.  If prior years’ returns are to be prepared, an IRS Power of Attorney Form 2848 may be requested of you.

STEP TWO: After you review the Client Agreement, sign, date and fax to us at 01-206-522-2004.  Full phone, fax, and mailing address can always be found on our Contact Us page.

STEP THREE: Either in our phone call or by e-mail (regular or secure), provide your credit card information (number, expiration date, and name as printed on card).  Or, you may send funds via wire transfer; simply request banking instructions.

If it had been requested by us, sign and date page two of the Power of Attorney Form 2848 and fax to us at 01-206-522-2004.

STEP FIVE: Complete as best you can all relevant pages of the Tax Organizer found in Step One. Only staff will see the organizer, so don’t be too concerned with what it looks like so long as it is legible. If more than one year’s tax returns are to be prepared, complete one organizer per year. If you paid foreign taxes, please provide the amount paid or withheld and specify currency in which paid on the last page of the organizer.  After completion of these forms, email the PDFs or fax back to us at 01-206-522-2004.

STEP SIX: Please supply us with copies of the following, if you have received them:

–  Form(s) W-2 (wages, etc)

Form(s) 1099 (non-employee earnings, interest, dividends, securities proceeds, royalties, etc.)

–  Schedule(s) K-1 (income from partnerships, S corporations, etc.)

–  Form(s) 1098 (mortgage interest) and property tax statements

–  Any other reporting forms (5498, 1042, etc) for which a copy was also sent to the IRS

–  Brokerage gain or loss reports

–  Closing statements pertaining to real estate transactions

– Any tax notices received from the IRS or other taxing authorities.

STEP SEVEN: We will prepare the returns specified in the engagement letter, based on the figures you report to me.  Please feel free to contact us at any point regarding any aspect of the engagement.  We shall make every effort to complete your returns before their normal due dates, assuming at least 72 hours prior receipt by us of your input materials (include W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, if applicable).  While expats have until June 15th to file a form 1040 return, that is only applicable if you are out of the country on that date.  We file an extension prior to April 15th regardless, because if – for any reason – the June 15th filing date is not met, you are still extended to October 15th.

STEP EIGHT: Please fax or PDF us a copy of the most recent US tax return (and state return, if relevant) you have filed with the IRS.  Please also send us copies of any NON-US income tax returns or related documents (if any) that cover the years involved.

STEP NINE: Doing expat tax returns frequently creates some flurry of state and/or IRS follow-up correspondence which adds anywhere from 1 to 5 hours of additional work on our part.  Such time is charged at the US$260 per hour rate if and as incurred.


– Along with the completed tax organizer, please send us the source documents once you have received most or all of them – rather than sending them individually as they arrive.

– If you have 10 or more pages of documents to send via PDF, please send them in one or two multi-page PDFs, rather than in individual single-page PDFs.

– Sending JPG format files is acceptable if no other alternative is available, but not preferred.

If shipping us paper documents, please do not send us your only copy of any document – if sending us paper documents.  Keep either the original or a copy in your possession.  Please ship or mail to our office address as listed on the Contact Us page.

– When possible, please send us inputs via fax or PDF/e-mail.  We do not need the original of any document; copies (electronic or paper as you prefer) are OK.

– We do not need to see your individual receipts or bank records, but do save them in case they are needed later.

FEES: The fees are three stage – pre-preparation, preparation, and follow-up.

Stage One is payment of a $750 retainer (sent with the signed client agreement) which will apply against preparation fees.  The retainer assures that you have a CPA and we have a client.

Stage Two (referring to Step 7 above) is priced per our current year fee schedule.  Once we receive from you the input materials for each year, we can provide a US$ cost estimate if you wish of the preparation fee. Payment is due at the time work is prepared and ready to ship.

Stage Three (see Step 9 above ) is priced at US$260/hr, payable as incurred.

TERMS: MasterCard, Visa, and American Express are accepted.