Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use a CPA?
CPAs must pass a comprehensive accounting exam. Additionally, a background check and an ethics exam must be completed before the state will issue a CPA certificate. To stay current, 120 hours of education are required every three years with a minimum of 20 hours per year.

There are no educational requirements for non-certified accountants.

What services do you provide?
Donna Hughes, CPA prepares tax returns including individual, corporation, LLC and LLP, trust, payroll, sales tax, property tax, etc. Other services include QuickBooks training, bookkeeping and tax planning.

What size clients do you serve?
We provide services to individuals, families, businesses of all sizes—from start-up to multi-million dollar companies.

Do you work with Start-up Companies?
Yes, many of our clients are just getting started. We'll lead you through all the necessary forms and are always available to talk with you or answer questions to be sure you're on the right track.

Should I use a lawyer or a CPA to start my business?
Contact us at the beginning, before setting up your business with a lawyer. There are many types of companies and we can help you pick the best match for your tax situation.

Once I get my business started, what does a CPA do?
We'll continue to help you with payroll, tax returns, and accounting as much as is needed We can even provide QuickBooks training and consulting so you can manage your finances.

Which type of business should I form?
When setting up a new business, it is crucial to set up the right type of entity, such as corporation, S corporation, Limited Liability Company, partnership, sole proprietorship, etc. We can help you decide what type of business entity would be the best match for your situation and goals.

I prepare my own tax return, why use your services?
A CPA can help you find all the deductions and available tax credits, possibly saving you a lot of money. We stand behind our work and will fight on your behalf, if needed.

Should we wait until tax preparation time to contact you as our CPA?
No, tax questions come up throughout the whole year. It's much better to discuss financial issues with your CPA before making these decisions in order to save as much money as possible in the long run.

What pieces of paper do I need to keep in order to do my taxes? Keep detailed records of your income, expenses, and any other information you report on your tax return. These records will help save you money when you do your taxes and will help you very much in the case of an audit.

Should I keep my old tax returns?
Yes, having your old tax returns handy will help you while filing your taxes each year. It's a good reference and can remind you of deductions that you might otherwise forget. Additionally, you'll need the returns if you're ever audited. The IRS will ask you to bring your tax returns from the past few years to your meeting, and the documents can greatly assist you during the procedure.

Can you file my return electronically (E-file)?
Yes.

If I file electronically, do chances increase of being audited?
No, even if you mail your income tax return in, it is converted into the digital format that the IRS computers use.

If I file electronically, do I receive my refund faster?
Yes, if you e-file your federal or state income taxes, the IRS will send your refund in about two weeks.

Will you represent me in front of the IRS?
As CPAs, we can act as your legal representatives before the IRS and go in your place for a tax audit if necessary.

How can I contact the IRS about my tax return?
You can call the IRS at its toll-free line at 800-829-1040. To be ready to respond, you should have your Social Security number, your filing status and your refund or payment due amounts. You can also find IRS information at this link.

Where can I find tax forms online?
Here are links to some of the more common federal and Virginia state tax forms: