Ceterus Tax FAQ

Frequently asked questions about our tax planning and preparation services.
Questions about using Onvio?

Questions about working with our tax team?

We know taxes are anxiety provoking.  Let us know if you have questions—we want to help you get prepared and ready to file your returns.

 

IRS schedules are unforgiving.  Our Tax Team is especially available ahead of the height of tax season which begins on February 1.  If you have questions, please reach out to support@ceterus.com where a member of our team can assist you.  Depending on the nature of your questions, a Customer Success Representative will help you or will coordinate a call with our Tax Team.

 

For more in-depth concerns or planning, we offer tax consulting services for an additional fee.  Contact support@ceterus.com to learn more.

FAQ's

 

I usually only hear from Customer Success or my Financial Consultant.  Should I expect to hear directly from members of the Ceterus Tax Team?

We always suggest submitting any questions to support@ceterus.com. Most  communications from Ceterus will come from support@ceterus.com related to taxes though Tax Team Members may also need to engage directly. These messages would be most likely to be addressed from a member of our Tax Team:

  • Information gathering and questions related to a personal return 

  • Questions that are related to any prior returns

  • Where we have a question that is complex in nature or will impact your tax liability

I am fully implemented and work with Ceterus on an ongoing basis each month.  What should I do to get ready?

Every month, but especially as we approach year-end, review your financial statements:

  • Do you have outstanding questions from Ceterus in Action Center?  It’s very important that you review outstanding items in the Action Center portal and that we hear from you as year-end approaches. Open issues may prevent us from filing your return in a timely manner (in which case an extension may be required).

  • Beyond getting ready for tax season, regular review of your financials is a great way for you to get full value from your Ceterus service.

  • Let us know if you need us to make any adjustments.  Hearing from you helps us better understand your business.

 

Be ready to review your prior year results at the end of January. Know that unless you opt out, we will, where we are able, start your tax return two weeks after completion of your prior year statements.

 

I am a new customer and have not completed onboarding yet.  What do I need to know?

For customers actively working through the Onboarding process: please provide all information, documentation, and system/financial access to your Onboarding Success Representative no later than December 15 which will allow us to finalize your financial statements and avoid the need for a tax extension.  If we miss this deadline, we will focus on the ongoing implementation work and file an extension for the past calendar year.

For customers who begin working with Ceterus late in a calendar year or early the next year: if Ceterus is preparing returns for you, we will ensure that extensions are filed to give you and Ceterus time to get your financial statements ready for our Tax Team and file final returns later in the year.


Providing Ceterus a copy of your final prior year tax return is essential to Ceterus’ ability to finalize your implementation.  To the extent we may be filing an extension, we need your prior-year tax return (unless you are a brand new business).  We can’t file the appropriate extension without your prior year return.

 

When is Ceterus going to start working on my return?

For Business Returns:

 

  • In order to ensure timely filing, where possible, we will start your return two weeks after delivery of your complete, prior calendar year financial statements.

  • If you prefer to extend or otherwise aren’t ready to file, you can opt out of this schedule by emailing us at tax@ceterus.com before December 31.  Please know that if you opt out, we will likely need to file an extension on your behalf.

  • Because S Corporations and partnerships have an earlier filing deadline, we will prioritize our work on those business returns before moving on to C Corporations, single member LLCs, and personal returns.

 

For Personal Returns:

 

  • Because your business results are generally included on your personal return, we need to complete your business return before working on your personal return.

  • To avoid an extension of your personal return, please be especially attentive to any questions we have for you, whether related to your business return or personal return, because they are interdependent.  IRS deadlines force us to focus work intently during this time, so as we encounter obstacles we are required to focus on returns where we have the information we need.

 

For single member LLCs:

  • If you have not elected Ceterus to prepare your personal return (as reflected on your Ceterus service agreement), contact support@ceterus.com to learn more about the full range of Ceterus tax services.  There is a significant advantage in allowing Ceterus to provide all your tax needs and great value represented in our pricing.

  • If you prefer to have another preparer file your personal return, Ceterus will prepare a schedule that will allow your preparer to include your business on your personal return.

 

Key Dates

  • December 15: For new Ceterus customers, please complete the first stage of your onboarding process (supplying all required information, documentation, and system/financial access) to allow us to finalize your 2020 results.  If you have signed up for Ceterus service late in the year or early the following year, we will focus on preparing statements for our Tax Team and file an extension to ensure IRS compliance.

  • December 31: For new customers, we need your prior year return for many reasons but critically so we can file an extension for you if we need to.

  • March 15: Returns are due for S Corps (IRS Form 1120-S) and partnerships (IRS Form 1065).  This is also the extension deadline if company return extensions are desired or required.

  • April 15: Returns are due for C Corps (IRS Form 1120), non-partner/non S Corp LLCs, and Personal returns (IRS Form 1040).  This is also the extension deadline if personal return extensions are desired or required.

 

How is the process different for Personal Return?

Ceterus will need information from you that is independent of your business, things like information about your dependents, copies of 1099s for dividends earned, 1098s for mortgage interest paid, etc.

 

For new customers, our Tax Team will send you a secure link to share your prior year personal return.  This is the first step in getting things set for successful preparation of the current year’s return.

 

Because some items we need to prepare your return will not be available to you until the next calendar year, we will send you a link to complete your personal tax organizer.  We will send your personal organizer via email and ask that you share the needed documents via SendSafely, a secure document sharing platform Ceterus leverages to protect your information.  At your option, you may also use Onvio, our alternative secure document sharing platform.  (Questions about using Onvio? Click here!)

If you want to get started lining up your documentation, these are the items we will request:

 

  • Dates of birth and social security numbers for you and your dependents

  • Mortgage interest paid (1098s)

  • Interest and Dividends earned (1099s)

  • Expenses incurred for a rental property, rental income received

  • Property taxes paid

  • Child care expenses


Upload all tax documents to SendSafely or Onvio no later than March 1. (Questions about using Onvio? Click here!)

 

What are the consequences of an extension?

We will file an extension on your behalf if:

 

  • You request an extension by opting out of our normal preparation schedule.

  • You are unable to provide documentation or information to us on a schedule that allows us to complete the final return on schedule to meet the IRS timelines.

 

Extensions are filed on the same IRS deadline dates: March 15 for S Corporations and partnerships, April 15 for C Corporations, single member LLCs, and personal returns.  Ceterus does not need a signature from you to file extensions.

 

Where an extension is filed with the IRS, final returns are due no later than September 15 for S Corporations and partnerships, and October 15 for C Corporations, single member LLCs, and personal returns.

 

Depending on what tax payments you have previously made via W-2 or estimated payments, you may need to make additional payments when you file the extension.


Note: we can only file an extension with baseline information we request (e.g., prior year return).

 

Next Year’s Estimated Payments

All returns prepared by Ceterus will be accompanied by recommended quarterly payments for the future year based on “safe harbor” recommendations.

 

Safe harbor essentially represents leeway from the IRS as it relates to underpayment of taxes during the calendar year.


If you want more in-depth help to determine your best approach in paying estimated taxes, contact support@ceterus.com  to see if consulting services are right for you.

 

What happens when my return is ready?

Our Tax Team will provide a draft return no later than March 10 for partnerships and S Corporations and April 10 for C Corporations, single member LLCs, and personal returns.

 

Returns will be delivered through SendSafely and also available through Onvio. (Questions about using Onvio? Click here!)

 

If you have questions about your draft returns and wish to speak to our Tax Team, please contact support@ceterus.com to schedule a call with our Tax Team.

 

We appreciate that in some cases you may need more time to review your returns or talk to your team.  If you would prefer to file an extension to provide more time to review your concerns, we will assist you with that process.

 

What is Onvio?

Onvio is a secure document sharing platform which involves:

 

  • Multi-Factor Authorization to ensure security for any documents residing in Onvio.

  • Installation of an authenticator application from Thomson Reuters on your mobile phone.  Note: If you replace your phone after authentication, you will need to contact support@ceterus.com for a temporary access code to regain access to Onvio.

Because some customers prefer a more direct method to exchange documents securely, Ceterus also offers the option of using SendSafely, which involves the use of a secure link where you can post documents for our access.

 

For information we request for your IRS Form 1040: we will send you a personal organizer and ask that you share required documentation via SendSafely link provided.  Use of Onvio is your option.

 

For draft returns we share for your review: we will always send a SendSafely link that will allow you to access the draft review securely and directly.  Draft copies will also be available on Onvio.

 

A feature of Onvio which is available to you is that it allows you an opportunity to retain a historical record of your Ceterus tax filings with a high level of security.

 


Questions about using Onvio? Click here!

 

Authorization to File/IRS Form 8879

An IRS Form 8879 is your authorization to Ceterus to efile your return(s).  We can not submit tax return filings without a signature on an IRS Form 8879.

 

Generally speaking, the IRS does not accept e-signatures for IRS Form 8879.  As what is currently a temporary policy change, until June 30, 2021, the IRS will accept e-signature.  Consequently, until late June, Ceterus will send IRS Form 8879 to you via DocuSign.

 

If we don’t receive your IRS Form 8879, we will need to extend and charge you a $100 extension fee.

 

If we don’t receive your IRS Form 8879 by the extended due date, you may be charged a late filing penalty.

 

You may submit your signed IRS 8879, by:

  • ​Responding to a DocuSign request sent to you prior to June 30.

  • Emailing a PDF or image of an “ink-signed” form to tax@ceterus.com.

 

800.571.6119

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4900 O’Hear Avenue

Suite 100, PMB 125
North Charleston, SC 29405  

 800.571.6119

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