At Steward, Ingram & Cooper, PLLC, we have been preparing complex tax returns for individuals since 2000. In the past two decades, our CPAs have worked with individuals to prepare and file individual tax returns so our clients can be assured that their tax matters are being handled by a certified public accountant who can represent them on their taxes. If you are in need of personal tax preparation in Raleigh NC or beyond, our firm is here to assist you.

We Offer the Following Services to Individuals:

  • Federal and Multi-State Income Tax Return Preparation
  • Comprehensive Tax Planning
  • Gift Tax Preparation and Planning

What Kind of Tax Preparer Do I Need?

Any person or company that has an IRS Preparer Tax Identification (PTIN) can be paid to prepare your individual tax return. However, it’s important to understand the difference between the various types of credentials and what each tax preparer is legally allowed to do.

CPAs, Attorneys, and Enrolled Agents are tax professionals who can represent people on any tax-related matter including audits, payment and collection issues, and appeals.

A CPA works on a personal tax preparation in Raleigh NC

People who are not CPAs, attorneys, or enrolled agents – such as the part-time help employed during tax season by many franchise tax businesses – are limited in how they can represent the client to the IRS. Such persons cannot represent another person if they did not personally prepare their return. Additionally, they cannot represent clients regarding appeals or collections issues regardless of how they prepared their return.

Complex Individual Tax Returns

At Steward Ingram & Cooper PLLC, our team of CPAs specializes in complex tax preparation for taxpayers in the Triangle, including but not limited to Raleigh, Morrisville, and Durham.

The dedication and attention to which we spend with each individual is reflected in the cost of our tax preparation services. Thus, the majority of our clients have complex tax issues that require specialized efforts by our CPAs. Examples of complex tax returns that we handle include multi-state returns, foreign taxes, revenue and expenses from off-shore bank accounts, tax consequences of company stock options, and tax-deferred exchanges. While these complex tax situations may seem daunting to you, our CPAs have hands-on experience preparing intricate tax returns and can assist you by handling such matters for you via your tax preparation.

Important Tax Due Dates for Individual Tax Returns

  • April 15 – Individual tax return (Form 1040)
  • April 15 – 1st quarter estimated taxes
  • April 15 – Last day to make HSA and IRA contributions for 2020
  • June 15 – 2nd quarter estimated taxes
  • September 15 – 3rd quarter estimated taxes
  • October 15 – Final due date for extended returns
  • January 15, 2021 – 4th quarter estimated taxes

Schedule a Consultation for Personal Tax Preparation in Raleigh NC

If you are interested in Steward, Ingram & Cooper’s personal tax preparation services, we welcome you to contact us via phone at  (919) 872-0866 or fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page. A member of our team will follow up with you promptly to discuss your tax needs and next steps.

Personal Tax Planning & Preparation: Frequently Asked Questions

What accounting services do you offer to individuals?

At Steward Ingram & Cooper PLLC, we prepare tax returns for individuals in the Raleigh-Durham area and beyond. We offer services that include federal and multi-state income tax return preparation, comprehensive tax planning, and gift tax preparation and planning. 

How do I file a tax extension? 

At Steward, Ingram & Cooper PLLC, our tax preparers can file both state and federal tax extensions for our clients.

For Federal tax returns, you can file an extension electronically by using Free File through the IRS to make your request. This gives you until October 15th to file a return. You should also estimate your tax liability when doing this and pay any amount due. If there is an overpayment, you will receive a refund once all your paperwork is complete.

If you cannot file the North Carolina Individual Income Tax Return by the due date you can file an extension using Form D-410. You may apply for a six-month extension of time to file the return.

Does a tax extension delay the tax payment due date?

Some people assume that when they seek a tax extension, it will give them more time to pay what they may owe. However, filing an extension only gives you more time to finish your paperwork. Any money due is still expected on the tax deadline, April 15th. 

What is the difference between married filing separately and jointly?

When a couple files jointly, this means all of their income, assets, dependents, and deductions are combined and included on one tax return. Married, filing separately means that both parties file their own returns, keeping their individual income, investments, and property separate.

Should I choose “married filing jointly” on my tax return? 

An overwhelming majority of married couples choose to file jointly. It’s easier, and the benefits include a lower tax rate and increased tax deductions, including the child tax credit and capital loss deductions, which are twice the amount than the threshold for filing separately. There are other benefits that can be explored in this article.

The other main benefit to filing jointly regards your retirement account. Married couples who file together have significantly higher income eligibility thresholds for a Roth IRA. For tax preparation in Raleigh NC and beyond, contact our CPAs to discuss what filing status is right for you and your spouse. 

Are there benefits for married couples who still choose to file taxes separately?

There are many benefits to married couples that file a joint tax return; however, there are scenarios in which may be more beneficial to file separately. If both spouses are high-income earners in the same tax bracket, you may benefit from filing separately.

If you are using income-based repayment to repay your student loans, filing separately can result in a lower payment plan. If one spouse has a large amount of medical expenses, it may be better to file separately in order to itemize the costs. 

Do I have to pay taxes on stocks?

In nearly every situation, you are required to pay taxes on your stocks. If your stocks are all held in a traditional brokerage account (as opposed to an IRA or 401K), they won’t be taxed if they are idle. However, if you sell stock and make a profit, that profit is subject to the capital gains tax. This is the amount you pay when you sell any asset for more than you had paid, whether it’s a rental home, car, collectible, or stock.

For investments you own, you may receive periodic payments, such as dividends. These also demand taxation, even if the dividend is reinvested into additional shares. If you need help navigating taxes on stocks, read this article or contact our Raleigh CPAs or Durham CPAs.

Can I reduce my taxable income? 

You may legally reduce your taxable income via retirement plans, health savings accounts, and 529 savings accounts. For more ways to reduce your taxable income, please utilize our tax preparation services or set up a consultation.

When do I start planning for retirement?

It’s never too early to start planning for retirement. It’s recommended that by age 67, you should have saved 10 times your final salary. Most financial experts estimate that you’ll need 70 to 90 percent of your pre-retirement income to keep up with your standard of living.

You should also consider any debts you’ll still owe after retirement, what type of housing situation you’ll be in, and what type of health insurance plan you’ll have after retiring. Having an in-depth understanding of your finances and creating a realistic budget is essential to a successful retirement.

How are retirement funds taxed?

Most pension income is funded with pretax income, so they are taxable when you receive the funds. IRA and 401(k) deferrals are generally taxed when distributions are made. Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k) deferrals are made with after-tax dollars. Therefore, the withdrawals, including earnings, are tax-free if the accounts are held for the required time.

If you are in need of complex tax preparation in Raleigh NC for your retirement account(s) and investments, work with our CPAs so you’re aware of all the tax credits and deductions you may incur when we prepare your taxes.