Location is not an issue!
What I need from you:
A copy of
last year's return. This should contain your
personal information such as names, Social Security numbers, address,
etc. I will also need the date of birth for everyone listed on the
return (yourself, spouse, dependents, etc), and phone numbers and email.
If anything from the prior return has changed, such as your address,
please let me know what address you want to use. If you are using a
forwarding address in the US, some states (such as Texas, from Mail
Boxes or Handy Mail) are much easier than others. If you are permanently
living in Mexico, you don’t need to be paying state income taxes to your
former state! If you have a forwarding address to a friend in
California, for example, this can cause problems in the state wanting
you to pay taxes there. We can discuss these issues. If you just moved
to Mexico this year, please give me the date of your move.
“official” paperwork received by you, such as W-2s, 1099s, from
banks, pensions, IRA withdrawals, employers, etc. I don’t have to have
the actual originals, but I do need a copy or fax of the originals. I
would also prefer to have the official statement (has pink colored paper
on it) from Social Security, but not everyone receives this. If you
don’t have it, I can get this number from bank statements or what you
received last year. This is the only exception to seeing the originals.
brokerage statements, NOT the 12/31 statement, but the one labeled
“Important Tax Information” which will contain your official 1099s. If
you have sales of investments (shown on a 1099-B), there will be a
number for “Gross Proceeds from Sales”. I also need a statement showing
the gains and losses for investments. Some brokers include this with
this statement; others do not and you have to ask them for it
A copy of
a US check (write VOID over it) so I can get routing and account numbers
for direct deposit of a refund. It is NOT advisable to have a refund
check mailed to you in Mexico. If you
need to pay estimated taxes, I must set it up electronically at the time
of your return preparation, or you will later have to go online yourself
to make electronic payments. The IRS is no longer accepting paper checks
for estimated tax payments.
have a rental property, I will need the information from the prior year as to address, etc. Please make sure you have a
schedule for an ongoing property. If not, ask your previous accountant
to provide one. If we are setting up a rental for the first time, we
will talk for more details.
are working overseas and use the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, I can
obtain information from your prior return if your situation is the same,
but will need to ask you more questions if you are setting this up for
the first time.
Deductions: Many people overseas use the Standard Deduction because they
are no longer paying mortgage interest, real estate or state income
taxes, and do not meet the level for itemizing deductions. However, if
you do have enough deductions to itemize, I will need the 1098 form for
mortgage interest and taxes, and a list of other deductions, such as
medical expenses, charity, etc.
Complete service included with your tax preparation
for future years for correct withholding or estimates, to avoid
penalties to the IRS.
consultations for simple questions answered free outside of busy season.
Examination of your current portfolio to look for ways to lower your tax
ALL OF THIS PAPERWORK, INCLUDING STATEMENTS FROM BROKERS,
CAN BE FAXED
DIRECTLY TO ME AT (303) 474-6460.
This is my American fax number (e-fax) which I make available for free to
all my clients, so you don’t have to wait to receive statements in the
mail. No prior permission or cover sheet necessary. This is much easier
There is also available an Adobe file with an official “organizer”. Some
of you may have used this with other preparers. To me it feels like a lot
of paperwork to fill out, but if you prefer to work in this fashion, I’m
more than happy to send you the file.
This is basic personal information I will need from everyone, but
obviously each situation is different. For new clients, we need a simple
interview, either by phone or in person, to take basic personal
information and to assess the work you need. If you are in the Lake
Chapala area, please call for an appointment (roughly one-half hour) at
From a US or Canadian area code, call Vonage number 720-226-0561 (U.S.
number but rings in Mexico – no international long distance charges!).
No appointment necessary for former or current clients!
If you are a former client and nothing has changed, feel free to just drop
your information off during normal hours, or mail or fax to me directly.
If you are a current client (or even former, such as from a few years
ago), the important thing for me is to confirm that your prior information
is still the same: address, email, bank deposit information, phone, same
number of dependents, etc.
If you prefer, you can also send documents directly to me through Estafeta
(Mexican overnight mail service – much cheaper than Fed-ex within Mexico),
and I can return a paper copy plus your paperwork to you in that same
fashion. Estimated cost is 150-200 pesos per mailing.
Payment can be received in dollars through PayPal (US debit, credit or
personal PayPal account), by US or Mexican check, by cash pesos if you
live in the Lake Chapala area, or transfer to a Bancomer account from
elsewhere in Mexico. All fees are shown in US Dollars, but will be
converted to pesos if you are paying in cash or to Bancomer. Conversion
rates are through
www.xe.com as of the day the work is finished on your
A deposit is required to begin work on your return for new clients, and
will be credited to your final price. For Lakeside residents, the deposit
will be 750 pesos, received in cash in person. For website clients or
anyone wishing to pay by credit card or in dollars, the deposit will be
$100. You will receive an email with a link to PayPal requesting a deposit
payment after our initial phone call. All your financial information is
completely secure, and you do not have to have your own PayPal account.
You will be invoiced for your final bill, with all schedules shown per the
fee schedule, before the return is e-filed and/or copies and original
©2008-2011 by Marian Wellman