We feel that at Tom Umstattd, CPA, we should only charge by the hour for our services.
Other accounting firms may receive commissions for financial products that they suggest to their clients, but we feel this practice would compromise our mission, which is endeavoring conscientiously toward superior service.
Our firm’s discipline to refuse commissions helps to ensure the integrity of our unbiased professional advice and opinions when advising for or against a particular financial strategy.
Our billing rates currently vary from $85 per hour for accounting degreed or certified staff to $165 per hour for Tom Umstattd, CPA.
Time charges one would typically see cover tax return preparation, e-mails and phone calls to and from the client(including the initial contact) and third parties concerning our agreed upon work, office meetings about the client’s return, representation with the IRS, accounting and financial research, review of file materials and documents sent or received, correspondence, processing your return, billing, and round-trip travel time if applicable.
Tips on how to save money on your return preparation costs:
- Completely fill out the client tax organizer every year. You can find it on the main page.
- Send all relevant tax documents together through Intuit Link. If you have trouble knowing what to send, please check our client organizer or request a list. If you don’t have an Intuit Link Login, contact us and we will set it up.
- Collect all the documents you know are needed and send them all together instead of as accrued.
- Organize your Tax Documents. Here are some tips! This is especially important if you plan to give us the necessary documents physically.
- Make a list of questions before contacting the office to keep the conversation short and concise.
Tips on how we can help you the best:
- Schedule visits or phone call meetings with the CPAs- This prevents you from calling or visiting at inopportune times.
- Use Intuit Link for digital document transmissions. This is the most secure and preferred method.
- Keep us up to date with your addresses and contact information.
Client Engagement Letter
In order to provide the best service possible, we use a client engagement letter. An engagement letter defines the legal relationship (or engagement) between a professional firm and its client. This document allows us to communicate the services we will provide and how we will provide them, and come to an agreement on how the services will be carried out. The engagement letter requires initials on the first page and signatures on the second page. We often send these digitally through DocuSign to be more efficient, but if you would prefer to sign in person, we will provide you with a signed copy of the engagement letter for your records as well.
This engagement letter includes a downpayment for preparing your income tax return. The downpayment varies based on the number and type of returns we will have to prepare. Our client engagement letter requests that you pay upon receipt. We will not begin to prepare your return until we receive a signed engagement letter, your payment, and your necessary financial information to prepare a tax return.
Our office accepts checks, credit card payments (with a 3% fee), cash, and money orders.
Checks should be made out to Tom Umstattd, CPA
If you would like to mail a check in, please mail our office at
Tom Umstattd, CPA
13276 Research Blvd. Ste 101
Austin, TX 78750
We can process credit card payments in person or over the phone and send the receipt to sign via DocuSign. We kindly request that if you would like to pay in cash or money order, please visit us in person. If you cannot see us during our regular business hours for payment, please call ahead and we may be able to set up a special payment appointment for you.
We reserve the right to halt our services if we have not received adequate payment, either on our down payment or a prior year’s return. We will not file a return until receiving payment, so to hasten the process of filing or E-Filing your return, please be prepared to render payment for our services. Late payments incur a 0.8 percent service charge added to the outstanding balance on the first day overdue after a 10-day grace period and monthly thereafter.
After we receive payment, we will file your return and send you your tax return. We will also send you back the paper files sent to us with the information that was used to prepare the return. Please keep these documents for 3 years (or more) per the IRS Guidelines. You may also receive a paper copy of your return unless otherwise indicated. Please let us know before or while you are making a payment if you do not wish to receive a paper copy of the return.
We will not give estimates over the phone for new clients. Instead, we provide a free, no obligation, one-half hour initial interview. During the interview, the tax preparer will review with the prospective client the financial data they brought in (as listed in the Income Tax Organizer Questionnaire) for their tax preparation. After the initial interview, we can give an estimate of our bill, if requested, and then both parties will decide whether further professional services will continue. If we agree to proceed, then one-half of the estimated bill is paid at that time and the remainder is paid when the work is completed.