SP FAQ AH External - AffordaTax Biz-In-a-Box
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Hi . 

AH (Hirees) FAQs

A: Clients that typically get their taxes done early in the tax season (first 45 days) are the clients who need the bank products & are more apt to inquire about them. The early filers are typically anticipating a refund based on the Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit, which sometimes yields them refunds of 4, 5, 6 and 7 thousand dollars. These are the clients who are grateful for and willing to incur the bank fees to be eligible to get taxes prepared without having to pay upfront. It also gives them an opportunity to get the cash advance to hold them over while they await their refunds.

 

Based on the new PATH Act passed by Congress, refunds associated with the Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit will not drop by the IRS until the 2nd week of February. With an even longer gap this year between when taxes are filed and when the IRS begins releasing refunds, the early filers may very well not have any other option to get a bridge loan to help carry them through this period

A: Whether your clients went to H&R Block, Liberty Tax or some other tax preparer last year, there were fees built into what they paid. They may or may not be aware of this. AffordaTax fees are lower than most and we work diligently every year to ensure this stays the same.

 

“Mrs. Jones, your refund is $5,988 after bank fees, which allows you to have your tax prep fee deducted from your refund. Or, if you’d prefer you can pay the tax prep fee upfront of $350 now. How would you like your money? Direct Deposit, Check, Walmart Pick Up or on a Pre-Paid Card? And would you like to apply for up to a $1,000 Cash Advance on your refund?”

A: Your Affiliate Owner will let you know what the minimum and maximum is for the tax prep fee allowed under their affiliate umbrella. In addition, your clients pay a $43.99 fee if they don’t get a bank product and instead pay for their tax prep fee in advance via check, cash or credit card. There is an online portal that you will be able to go to accept those forms of cash.

 

If your clients use a bank product, they will incur additional fees, including TPG Holding Banks’ fee, which totals $104.89. There may be a Doc Prep Fee ($10 to $30), embedded into the tax software as well, which you will need to inquire about with your affiliate owner.

It is encouraged to do all taxes on a laptop or desktop. Tablets and smartphones do a great job and our Tax Software is mobile accessible; however, be cautious with data entry mistakes easily done on a smaller screen when dealing with inputting numbers. Data entry mistakes is the #1 reason tax refunds are held up.

A: The IRS does require all who prepare taxes in exchange for compensation acquire a PTIN from them by Dec. 31st for $50 at www.IRS.gov.

A: You are required to upload the following compliance docs at a minimum: (W2/1099s, State Issued ID, Bank Docs within the tax software). This is a best practice and should be done to meet IRS and Holding Bank compliance regulations.

A: Our turn-key platform has a built-in, automated tool to capture client’s signatures paperless. You simply send the paperwork to be signed to their smartphones or PC with a few clicks of a button. You don’t have to download or upload any document. And then your client, on their end, clicks a few buttons to capture their electronic signature. This avoids paper, ink or other printing & faxing costs typically associated. You can also purchase a signature pad separately, but it is not required if you opt to use the automated signature.

A: AffordaTax has a Tech Support department, which has expanded hours during tax season. They will address any tax software questions, such as errors or forms if you get stuck while doing a return. After taking the training provided and doing practice returns to familiarize yourself with the tax software, all tax preparers will be proficient in addressing the common tax scenarios you will encounter.

A: You can earn up to $100 per return for clients who want LegalShield, which is a legal and ID theft membership. It costs them from $17 to $39.99 per month & covers the entire family if your client, their driving-age kids or their spouse get speeding tickets or need consultations/document review/Will from an attorney. Clients can pay annually and have the amount deducted from their refund.

A: Click Here for details.  All AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box packages are $00.00 and include the following:

  • Tax Software
  • Software
  • Marketing Training
  • Integrated Bank Products
  • Check Stock & Reloadable Debit Cards
  • IRS-Approved Tax School Classes (18 Credit Hours)
  • $1,000 cash advance on their refund (at no additional cost to the client, the Holding Bank deducts $25 from the tax prep fee if your client is approved)
  • 25 Travel Vouchers Brochures to give to your clients
  • Offering Pre-Paid Cards and Cash Advances

A: We can, if you would like.  The entire 18 Hour class ($250 value) comes free with your AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box; however, if you would like the 18 credit hours reported to the IRS so it is associated with your PTIN, this is a customized feature you can add to your Tax-Biz-in-a-Box for $19.99.  It is a great idea to do this because it sets you apart from other tax preparers who do not get continuing education hours.

 

Click Here for a complete list of Customized Product Offerings and scroll to the very bottom of the page.

A: The requirements to receive a login for the Tax School from our vendor is 1) your full application under My Account is completed 2) all AffordaTax-specific train required are completed  3) 2017 PTIN is renewed.

A: All trainings are web-based and self-paced. Your Affiliate Owner (AO) will let you know which AffordaTax-specific trainings are required under their affiliate. We strongly recommend that you take all the trainings with an asterix (*) next to it in the SharePoint Training Portal. Your AOs will have a list of the trainings you attend once you complete the trainings and get access to the Acknowledgement Form.

 

You also may be required to take the IRS-Approved 18 CE Hours Taxation Class (Tax School). Doing the practice problems are also required to get familiar with the tax software. It is not required to take the quizzes unless you would like for the 18 CE Hours to be reported to the IRS as continuing education hours for you under your PTIN. We do recommend this because it sets you apart from many tax preparers who don’t participate in continuing education.

A: You can begin the AffordaTax specific trainings immediately after logging into the SharePoint. The IRS-Approved Tax School will be available late-October; however, there will be 3 modules unavailable until until Congress and the IRS updates new tax laws.

A: There are some opportunities to customize your AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box. For instance, you can be included on a tax preparer’s Contact Us page for your location. You can also have a personalized website page created (3 templates to choose) with www.AffordaTax.com/your name. The link can be forwarded to your website or be a stand-alone page. You can also get a personalized email (yourname@affordatax.com). Click Here for a complete list of Customized Product Offerings and scroll to the very bottom of the page.

A: As a Hiree, your Affiliate Owner pays you directly, according to the Fee Split/Percentage agreed between the two of you.

 

As your online training & tax software provider, this is not information that AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box, will be privy to. But it should be written out on a contract between you and your Affiliate Owner.

 

It is required to attach your compliance docs (State Issued ID, SS Cards, Signed Bank Docs) to your return. When you use the tax software to capture your client’s signatures, it automatically populates on the return and bank docs and is captured within the tax software.

A: Nothing extra is needed or required with our all-inclusive AffordaTax Bix-in-a-Box. We provide the full platform for you to be successful in your tax business. There are some optional products you can purchase to customize your Biz-in-a-Box; however, they’re not required for a fully-functional tax prep operation.

 

Click Here for a complete list of Customized Product Offerings and scroll to the very bottom of the page. The IRS does require all who prepare taxes in exchange for compensation acquire a PTIN from them by Dec. 31st for $50.

A: Your AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box is free, as a Hiree came in under an Affiliate Owner. You do have options to customize your AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box; however, it’s not necessary in order to have everything you need to do taxes –from your trainings to access to your tax software and all licensures needed. Please see our website at www.TaxBizInBox.com.

A: You will get access to your AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box on www.TaxBizinBox.com and as a part of this process, you get choose a login username (email) and password. You then get an email with instructions to login to SharePoint.

 

SharePoint houses your AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box and gives you access to all of your trainings, your tax software and options to purchase optional products to customize your Biz-in-a-Box, which is optional and is not required.

A: New and Seasoned Tax Preparers are welcome. The AffordaTax-specific trainings & the IRS-Approved Tax School requires no prior tax or accounting knowledge and minimal computer skills.

 

You will learn to input and prepare tax returns and learn how to grow your tax business the right way, according to regulations and best practices provided by the IRS.

 

To take full advantage of your AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box, you have to be able to be disciplined enough to take your online trainings, be able to learn the tax software & most importantly, be able to “ask for the sale” to get your own tax clients.

A: Errors & Omissions Insurance is a professional liability insurance that covers financial losses and the costs and damages resulting from lawsuits up to the limit of your policy and is standard in the tax prep industry. Gold and Platinum levels, it is recommended that you have Errors and Omissions insurance; however, it is not required by the law or by us.

 

All Silver preparers are required to have Error & Omissions Insurance, which is associated with the background check. And what that insurance does is to cover any legal fees in the event that you’re sued by a client, which is good for all fiscal year for returns done within our tax software only.

 

This is $100 for each Individual Contractor or Affiliate Owner who are under the Silver package only. It will be deducted from your third return, if and only if you do up to 3 returns. For hirees under a Silver level AO, we supplement this cost by $100 as a benefit to them being hired under your affiliate so only $50 will be deducted from their 3rd return.

A: AffordaTax Biz-In-Box will assist you in getting an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN). This is a number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service to preparers that are accepted into the fed/state e-file program. Afforda will underwrite your EFIN, so you can be a full fledge Tax Professional.

 

If you selected the Silver package, AffordaTax secures the EFIN and you don’t have to apply for one separate. You and/or your Hirees will operate under an AffordaTax credentialed EFIN. This means you’re considered a transmitter, but not a responsible party for the EFIN.

 

For Gold and Platinum levels, you are listed as a responsible party under your EFIN and AffordaTax underwrites it so we expedite the process and then get it affiliated with our holding bank and all of our federal licensures. This process takes an average of 45 days with the IRS. We know exactly how the EFIN paperwork needs to be constructed and filled out and then once your application is submitted to the IRS, you will then send them a fingerprint card so they can administer a suitability check, which may include a credit check, a criminal background check, a tax compliance check and a check for previous non-compliance with IRS e-File requirements. AffordaTax being under-writers will prove invaluable during this part of this process.

 

If you feel you need to talk further about your eligibility for an EFIN, feel free to contact us and/or change your level to Silver.

A: If you are an Affiliate Owner (AO), you will be responsible for paying your Hirees (a percentage or flat fee) for each of their funded returns. We pay you and you pay them. This amount is something you will advertise or share with them & it can vary per return or be the same. But it should be written out in a contract & we will provide you a template for the contract.

A: Whether your clients went to H&R Block, Liberty Tax or some other tax preparer last year, there were fees built into what they paid. They may or may not be aware of this. AffordaTax fees are lower than most and we work diligently every year to ensure this stays the same.

 

“Mrs. Jones, your refund is $5,988 after bank fees, which allows you to have your tax prep fee deducted from your refund. Or, if you’d prefer you can pay the tax prep fee upfront of $350 now. How would you like your money? Direct Deposit, Check, Walmart Pick Up or on a Pre-Paid Card? And would you like to apply for up to a $1,000 Cash Advance on your refund?”

A: Clients that typically get their taxes done early in the tax season (first 45 days) are the clients who need the bank products (which are associated with the fees) the most & are more apt to inquire about them. The early filers are typically anticipating a refund based on the Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit, which sometimes yields them refunds of 4, 5, 6 and 7 thousand dollars. These are the clients who are grateful for and willing to incur the bank fees to be eligible to get taxes prepared without having to pay upfront. It also gives them an opportunity to get the cash advance to hold them over while they await their refunds.

 

Based on the new PATH Act passed by Congress, refunds associated with the Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit will not drop by the IRS until the 2nd week of February. With an even longer gap this year between when taxes are filed and when the IRS begins releasing refunds, the early filers may very well not have any other option to get a bridge loan to help carry them through this period.

A: You decide the tax prep fee for your clients and if you are an Affiliate Owner, you can do the same thing for your Hirees. If you selected the Silver package, $350 is the minimal tax prep fee. If you selected Gold or Platinum, $250 is the minimal tax prep fee. There is no maximum for either. Your clients pay a $43.99 fee if they don’t get a bank product and instead pay for their tax prep fee in advance via check, cash or credit card. There is an online portal that you will be able to go to accept those forms of cash.

 

If your clients use a bank product, they will incur additional fees, including TPG Holding Banks’ fee, which all together totals $104.89. If you opt to add a Doc Prep Fee ($10 to $30), which all goes to you, you can do so and this fee will be embedded into the tax software. You can also add up to $30 to the Audit Protection, which also all goes to you.

A: It is encouraged to do all taxes on a laptop or desktop. Tablets and smartphones do a great job and our Tax Software is mobile accessible; however, be cautious with data entry mistakes easily done on a smaller screen when dealing with inputting numbers. Data entry mistakes is the #1 reason tax refunds are held up.

A: If you selected the Silver package, you and any hirees will be required to upload the following compliance docs at a minimum: (W2/1099s, State Issued ID, Bank Docs within the tax software). This is a best practice and should be done even if you’re a Gold or Platinum level; although, we won’t require or check it on our end like, we will for Silver. Direct Deposits may be interrupted if compliance for Silver tax preparers or hirees are not met.

A: Our turn-key platform has a built-in, automated tool to capture client’s signatures paperless. You simply send the paperwork to be signed to their smartphones or PC with a few clicks of a button. You don’t have to download or upload any document. And then your client, on their end, clicks a few buttons to capture their electronic signature. This avoids paper, ink or other printing & faxing costs typically associated. You can also purchase a signature pad separately, but it is not required if you opt to use the automated signature.

A: There are some opportunities to customize your AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box. For instance, you can be included on a tax preparer’s Contact Us page for your location. You can also have a personalized website page created (3 templates to choose) with www.AffordaTax.com/yourname. The link can be forwarded to your website or be a stand-alone page. You can also get a personalized email (yourname@affordatax.com). Click Here for a complete list of Customized Product Offerings and scroll to the very bottom of the page.

A: AffordaTax has a Tech Support department, which has expanded hours during tax season. They will address any tax software questions, such as errors or forms if you get stuck while doing a return. After taking the training provided and doing practice returns to familiarize yourself with the tax software, all tax preparers will be proficient in addressing the common tax scenarios you will encounter.

A: We are excited about being able to offer our tax professionals a rebate for any amount you add-on to the $44.95 base fee for the Audit Protection. Your rebate can be anywhere from $10 to $30. It’s not required that you add this to the audit company’s base price; however, it is an option if you want to add additional revenue per client.

 

The average price for audit protection in most tax software ranges between $45 and $75, so you don’t want to price yourselves out of the market and it is perfectly acceptable to keep the base price. The rebate is provided in May for any returns funded by April 31stif you do decide to add to the base price. The audit protection line item will show up as Audit Defense on your client’s returns and their paperwork to contact the company will be included in their tax docs.

 

Is Audit Protection An Option In The Tax Software & Can I Add Anything To The Price?

 

Audit Protection is not required for any of your clients. It is totally optional, though we do highly recommend it because in the last 2 years, the IRS has more than tripled the number of letters they are sending out to taxpayers and some taxpayers are too intimidated to respond. Others may expect you to follow up and if you’re a seasonal tax preparer, you may not be in the position to do so.

A: If you selected the Silver Package, Background Checks are required for you and any hirees you may bring (if you are an Affiliate Owner). Specifically, we are looking for tax, insurance or bank fraud history because that will affect the Error & Omissions Insurance that we acquire on your behalf. If this pertains to you, if full disclosure is provided up-front, it may be waived by the E&O insurance company.

 

There is a $11.95 charge yearly for the background check. If you are an Affiliate Owner who selected the Gold or Platinum package, you can elect to have us do background checks on your Hirees as a custom feature you add on (scroll to bottom of page).

A: Click Here for details. All AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box packages are $00.00 and include the following:

  • Tax Software
  • Software
  • Marketing Training
  • Integrated Bank Products
  • Check Stock & Reloadable Debit Cards
  • IRS-Approved Tax School Classes (18 Credit Hours)
  • $1,000 cash advance on their refund (at no additional cost to the client, the Holding Bank deducts $25 from the tax prep fee if your client is approved)
  • 25 Travel Vouchers Brochures to give to your clients
  • Offering Pre-Paid Cards and Cash Advances are available to all Silver level preparers; however Gold & Platinum level tax preparers must have 25+ returns associated with your PTIN from last year.  There are some exceptions, so please inquire. If you are an Affiliate Owner, your hirees automatically qualify if you do.

 

A: We can, if you would like.  The entire 18 Hour class comes free with your AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box ($250 value); however, if you would like the 18 credit hours reported to the IRS so it is associated with your PTIN, this is a customized feature you can add to your Tax-Biz-in-a-Box for $19.99.  It is a great idea to do this because it sets you apart from other tax preparers who do not get continuing education hours.

 

Click Here for a complete list of Customized Product Offerings and scroll to the very bottom of the page.

A: The requirements to receive a login for the Tax School from our vendor is 1) your full application under My Account is completed, 2) your EFIN app is completed (if you are Gold or Platinum), 3) all AffordaTax-specific train required are completed, 3) TPG Onboarding is complete & 4) 2017 PTIN is renewed.

A: All trainings are web-based and self-paced. Those who selected the Gold & Platinum levels are not required to take any trainings except the Orientation, Tax Software, Bank Product and Common Fraud Scenarios trainings. We strongly recommend; however, that you and your Hirees take all the training listed with an asterix (*).

 

Silver level AIs, AOs and AHs are required to take all AffordaTax-specific training with an asterisk (*) next to them. The deadline for trainings are Dec. 31st. Silver level preparers are also required to take the IRS-Approved 18 CE Hours Taxation Class (Tax School). Doing the practice problems are also required to get familiar with the tax software.

 

It is not required to take the quizzes unless you would like for the 18 CE Hours to be reported to the IRS as continuing education hours for you under your PTIN. We do recommend this because it sets you apart from many tax preparers who don’t participate in continuing education.

A: You can begin the AffordaTax specific trainings immediately after logging into the SharePoint. The IRS-Approved Tax School will be available late-October; however, there will be 3 modules unavailable until until Congress and the IRS updates new tax laws.

A: There is a line item, entitled Doc Prep Fee, which is set at zero dollars by default which you can add to be between $10 to $30. This amount is direct deposited into your account each time a return funds. You can also add $10 to $30 to the $44.95 base for Audit Protection, which is rebated to you in May. Both amounts ares set at the beginning of tax season and cannot be changed once your first return funds. If you are an Affiliate Owner, your hirees will automatically see the this add-on reflected in their tax software. They do know the Doc Prep Fee goes to you.

 

You can earn up to an additional $100 per return for clients who want Legalshield, which is a legal and id theft membership. It costs them from $17 to $39.99 per month & covers the entire family if they get speeding tickets or need consultations/document review/Will from an attorney. Clients can pay annually and have the amount deducted from their refund.

A: You get your fee split direct deposited into your account at the time the client’s return is funded by the IRS and provided to TPG (the holding bank).  There is no payroll, no invoicing and you are able to pull your own reports to see what clients have been funded. If you are under the Silver Package and operating under an AffordaTax-credentialed EFIN & you don’t get your compliance docs (State Issued ID, SS Cards, Signed Bank Docs) in, the fee split will discontinue until you do. This applies to both you as the AI, AO and and any AH (hirees).

 

As your online training & tax software provider, what you pay your Hirees is not information that AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box, will be privy to. But it should be written out on a contract between you and your AO and if you selected the Silver AO package, you will be required to send a copy of this contract to AffordaTax corporate.

 

It is made clear to your Hirees in their Orientation the inactive role we play in paying them and that you are their go-to person for this, We do recommend they have contracts between them as the Hiree and you as the Affiliate Owner.

A: Nothing extra is needed or required with our all-inclusive AffordaTax Bix-in-a-Box. We provide the full platform for you to be successful in your tax business. There are some optional products you can purchase to customize your Biz-in-a-Box; however, they’re not required for a fully-functional tax prep operation.

 

Click Here for a complete list of Customized Product Offerings and scroll to the very bottom of the page. The IRS does require all who prepare taxes in exchange for compensation acquire a PTIN from them by Dec. 31st for $50.

A: All of our packages are Free and are all-inclusive. You do have options to customize your AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box; however, it’s not necessary in order to have everything you need to do taxes –from your trainings to access to your tax software and all licensures needed. Please see our website at www.affordataxprep.com for our Silver, Gold and Platinum Packages.

A: Once you sign up from the www.AffordaTaxPrep.com website, you get choose a login username (email) and password and get an email with instructions to login to SharePoint.

 

SharePoint houses your AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box and gives you access to all of your trainings, your tax software and options to purchase optional products to enhance your Biz-in-a-Box.

A: Both New and Seasoned Tax Preparers are welcome. The AffordaTax-specific trainings & the IRS-Approved Tax School requires no prior tax or accounting knowledge and minimal computer skills. You will learn to input and prepare tax returns and learn how to grow your tax business the right way, according to regulations and best practices provided by the IRS.

 

To take full advantage of your AffordaTax Biz-in-a-Box, you have to be able to be disciplined enough to take your online trainings, be able to learn the tax software & most importantly, be able to “ask for the sale” to get your own tax clients.

A: Our Tax Preparers have the option to offer your clients $1,000 cash advance on their refund (at no additional cost to the client). The Holding Bank deducts $25 from the tax prep fee if your client is approved for the cash advance, which you can opt to include in their tax prep fee.

 

It is illegal, however, to “charge” your client for the cash advance, which is highly regulated under the Predatory Lending Act to charge a client for their own money. See training regarding Cash Advance fees in SharePoint, once it becomes available under the SharePoint.

 

Tax Preparers need to have at least 25 returns associated with your PTIN that you did last year to be able to offer the cash advance. (some exceptions, so please inquire if applicable)

A: The IRS does require all who prepare taxes in exchange for compensation acquire a PTIN from them by Dec. 31st for $50 at www.IRS.gov.