ATS Advisors offices have re-opened

In the interest of safety for our clients and employees we will be operating under a no-contact policy until further notice.  What this means to our clients is we have drop off availability at our Plymouth, Allen Park, Grayling and Royal Oak locations. Unfortunately, due to building access restrictions we are not able to offer drop off at our St. Clair Shores office at this time.

Please check with your local ATS office for available drop off times.

Clients may also mail or electronically submit documents.  To send documents using our FileShare option, please contact your ATS office for contact for instructions.

Phone appointments are available. Simply call our office or request an appointment when you drop off your documents to schedule your appointment.

To check the status of your IRS income tax refund, please go to IRS – Where’s my Refund?

To check the status of your Michigan income tax refund, please go to Michigan – Where’s my Refund?

To check the status of your Economic Impact Payment (Stimulus payment), please go to Where’s my Economic Impact Payment?

Completed client returns will be mailed to clients with instructions. Please do not hesitate to reach out and talk with one of tax professionals if you have questions regarding your individual and/or business tax returns.

COVID-19 has changed how ATS Advisors and businesses in general are operating. While we anticipate some of these changes becoming permanent, we look forward to when we are able to meet with our clients face to face.  During these unprecedented times we will continue to be available to all of our clients and provide the services you have entrusted to us.

Taxpayers can check the status of their refund on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go App

Taxpayers can check the status of their refund on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go App

Taxpayers who filed their 2019 tax return and are waiting for their refund can check their refund status by going to IRS.gov and clicking on Get Your Refund Status to access the Where’s My Refund? tool.

People can check the status of their tax return about 24 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of an electronically filed tax return and up to four weeks after a taxpayer mails a paper return. The Where’s My Refund? tool updates once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so taxpayers only need to check once a day.

Taxpayers can also check their refund status, make a payment, and find free tax prep help through the IRS2Go app for their mobile device.

Taxpayers will need three things to use the tool:

  • Their Social Security number
  • Their tax filing status
  • The exact amount of the refund claimed on their tax return

Once the taxpayer enters that information the tool will display the progress of their tax return through the following stages:

  • Return received
  • Return approved
  • Refund sent

Taxpayers should use the IRS2Go app or the official Where’s My Refund? tool at IRS.gov to avoid scammers who may create look-alike sites in an attempt to steal sensitive personal information. They should go directly to IRS.gov and not rely on search engine results or click on links to refund sites they receive by email or text.

In certain instances, a taxpayer will need to call the IRS, such as:

  • It has been 21 days or more since they electronically filed their tax return
  • It has been more than six weeks since they mailed their return
  • When the Where’s My Refund? results tell the taxpayer to contact the IRS

if you need help filing your taxes, please call one of our offices:

Plymouth 734.454.4100, Allen Park 313.388.7180,
Grayling 989.348.4055, Royal Oak 248.399.7331, or St. Clair Shores 313.371.6600

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Small Business Administration Loan Application PPP Loan Document Check List

Based on readings and preliminary information from the SBA: We believe that the following information may be required:

2019 IRS Quarterly 940, 941 or 944 payroll tax reports

Payroll reports for a twelve-month period (ending on your most recent payroll date), which will show the following information:

  • Gross wages for each employee, including officer(s) if paid W-2 wages.
  • Paid time off (Vacation, Holiday, etc )for each employee
  • Family medical leave(FMLA) pay for each employee
  • State and local taxes assessed on an employee’s compensation
  • 1099s for independent contractors for 2019

Documentation showing total of all health insurance premiums paid by the company owner(s) under a group health plan.

  • Include all employees and the company owners

Document the sum of all retirement plan funding that was paid by the company owner(s) (do not include funding that came from employees out of their paycheck deferrals).

  • Include all employees and the company owners
  • Include 401K plans, Simple IRA, SEP IRA’s

We are here to help, these times are trying, and we are working remotely, but we are working and we will do our best to assist you as you navigate your way through.

ATS Advisors A Certified Public Accounting Firm Plymouth, Michigan 734-454-4100

“Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order

Today Governor Whitmer’s announced her Executive Order of “Stay Home, Stay Safe” wherein all non-essential businesses must close as of midnight tonight for three weeks.  Therefore, ATS Advisors is closing all their offices until April 15, 2020.

Our priority continues to be our commitment to and the well-being of our clients, employees and communities. Our employees will continue to have limited access to email, however, it may take a few days to receive a response to inquiries. If you have not received a response to an email within a few days, please contact our main office at 734.454.4100 and leave a message.  The voice mail messages are being checked regularly and you will receive a return call.

Please remember the filing and payment deadline for taxpayer’s has been extended to July 15, 2020. This is automatic, and no extension paperwork needs to be filed.

The COVID-19 Pandemic is an unprecedented event and we at ATS Advisors are striving to ensure all our client’s tax and accounting needs are addressed during this time. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns now or in the future.

TAX FILING DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JULY 15, 2020

It was announced today the deadline for filing of all U.S. tax returns has been extended to July 15, 2020.  This follows the announcement earlier this week tax payments were deferred until July 15, 2020 for most individuals. 

What does this mean for our clients?

  • All ATS Advisors offices are open and operating. We have returned to our regular hours of:

Monday – Friday       9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

  • Clients do not need to file an extension of time to file, unless they are unable to file their taxes on or before July 15, 2020.
  • We will continue to prepare tax returns and e-file completed returns, per our normal policy.
  • Offices are restricted to “drop-off” only.  Each office has a designated location for clients to drop off tax return preparation documents, e-File Authorization Forms, and payments for tax preparation fees.
  • ATS Advisors has restricted “face-to-face” contact with clients for their protection as well as our staff. Completed tax returns will be mailed, via USPS.  Clients may schedule phone appointments to review their tax returns with one of our tax professionals.

Our business client services will continue without interruption.

Please continue to check our website for updates and contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.

Get ready for taxes: Here’s what to know about getting a tax refund

Get ready for taxes: Here’s what to know about getting a tax refund

Tax returns, like snowflakes and thumbprints are unique and individual. So too, is each taxpayer’s refund. This is something for taxpayers to remember next year when someone they know says or posts on social media about receiving a federal tax refund.

Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible a taxpayer’s refund may take longer. Several factors can affect the timing of a taxpayer’s refund after the IRS receives their tax return. Here are a few things taxpayers should keep in mind if they are waiting on their refund but hear or see on social media that other taxpayers have already received theirs.The IRS and its partners in the tax industry continue to strengthen security reviews. This helps protect against identity theft and refund fraud. This means some tax returns need additional review, taking longer to process them.

It can take longer for the IRS to process a tax return that has errors. Therefore, taxpayers should consider filing their return electronically. The e-file software walks the taxpayer through the steps of filling out the return and does all the math.

E-file software can also help make sure a tax return is complete. This is important because it can also take longer to process an incomplete return. The IRS contacts a taxpayer by mail when more info is needed to process the return.

It can take banks or other financial institutions time to post the refund to the taxpayer’s account. It can take even longer for a taxpayer to receive their refund check by mail.

By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds for people claiming the earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit before mid-February. The law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund. This includes the portion of the refund not associated with EITC or ACTC.

For tax preparation call one of our offices:

Plymouth 734.454.4100, Allen Park 313.388.7180,
Grayling 989.348.4055, Royal Oak 248.399.7331, or St. Clair Shores 313.371.6600

Using strong password is a strong defense against identity thieves

Two things taxpayers can do to prevent themselves from identity theft is to use strong passwords and keep those passwords secure.

While many people use fingerprint or facial recognition technology to protect their devices, sometimes it’s still necessary to use a password. In recent years, cybersecurity experts’ recommendations on what constitutes a strong password has changed. With that in mind, here are four tips for building a better password:

  • Use word phrases that are easy to remember rather than random letters, characters and numbers that cannot be easily recalled.
  • Use a minimum of eight characters; longer is better.
  • Use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, i.e., XYZ, 567, !@#.
  • Avoid personal information or common passwords.

Writing strong passwords isn’t the only way to keep data secure. Here are a few more tips for folks to remember. People should:

  • Change default and temporary passwords that come with accounts or devices.
  • Not reuse passwords. Rather use a completely different password for every account and device.
  • Give a password a total makeover when changing it. For example, simply changing Bgood!17 to Bgood!18 is not good enough.
  • Not use email addresses as usernames, if that’s an option.
  • Store any password list in a secure location, such as a safe or locked file cabinet.
  • Not disclose passwords to anyone for any reason.
  • Use a password manager program to track passwords if you have numerous accounts.

Whenever it is an option for a password-protected account, users also should opt for a multi-factor authentication process. Many email providers, financial institutions and social media sites now offer customers two-factor authentication protections.

Two-factor authentication helps by adding an extra layer of protection. Often two-factor authentication means the returning user must first enter credentials like a username and password. Then they must do another step, such as entering a security code texted to a mobile phone.

For any tax question, call one of our offices:

Plymouth 734.454.4100, Allen Park 313.388.7180,
Grayling 989.348.4055, Royal Oak 248.399.7331, or St. Clair Shores 313.371.6600

It’s time again for folks to renew their ITINs…here are some things to remember

It’s time again for folks to renew their ITINs…here are some things to remember

Taxpayers with individual taxpayer identification numbers should find out if their number expires this year.  If it does, they should renew it now to avoid delays with their refund when they file their taxes next year.

An ITIN is a tax ID number used by taxpayers who don’t qualify for a Social Security number. Here’s what these taxpayers need to know about which numbers are expiring and how to renew them.

Which numbers are expiring at the end of this year?

Any ITIN with middle digits 83, 84, 85, 86 or 87.
Any ITIN not used on a tax return in the past three years.

What about numbers that expired in the last few years?
ITINs with middle digits 70 through 82 that expired in 2016, 2017 or 2018 can also be renewed.

How does someone renew their number?

Taxpayers with expiring ITINs need to complete renewal application, Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. They should include all required ID and residency documents. Failure to do so will delay processing. until the IRS receives these documents.

When should someone submit their renewal applications?

As soon as possible. With nearly 2 million taxpayer households affected, applying now will help avoid the rush.

What are some tips to avoid common mistakes that are made when submitting their renewal?

  • Indicate the reason for the ITIN on the Form W-7.
  • Mail the proper identification documents. Taxpayers mailing their ITIN renewal applications must include original identification documents or copies certified by the issuing agency and any other required attachments.
  • Include all supporting documentation, such as U.S. residency or official documentation to support name changes.
  • Complete the new W-7 application.

If you need help renewing your ITIN call one of our offices:

Plymouth 734.454.4100, Allen Park 313.388.7180,
Grayling 989.348.4055, Royal Oak 248.399.7331, or St. Clair Shores 313.371.6600