Get Answers with Our Tax Season FAQs from Maine CPA Firm Honeck O’Toole.

Start here if you’re looking for answers related to your Federal and Maine tax returns. Why?

Our Portland, Maine-based accountants have been providing expert tax preparation and financial guidance to local individuals and small businesses for decades now. We’ve collected the most common tax season questions we get just about every year.

If you have a question about tax season, you’re not alone… and you’ll likely find your answer below. Click on any question to quickly jump to the answer.

Q: Do I need to complete my Tax Organizer? Can I just send you my tax forms?

A: We’re required to ask certain questions every year before we can complete your return. Please complete all the questions, provide updated e-mail address information, and send your Tax Organizer to us by March 1, 2023. We won’t begin working in your returns until we’ve received your Organizer! Thanks.

Q: I submitted some of my information on March 1st, does that guarantee it will be prepared by April 17th?

A: We use our best estimates when determining submission deadlines. Over the last few years, tax returns that were submitted to our office prior to March 1st have been completed by the April filing deadline. That means, however, if you submit your information on March 1st, you may not hear from anyone in our office until April 17th.

If you’re concerned that you may owe taxes in April or you’ll need time to gather the funds to pay, you must provide your information to our office earlier than March 1st. Submitting incomplete or unclear information delays the preparation of your returns and increases the time spent by our staff to complete the work.

Q: My tax preparer requested additional information, which took me time to gather. Now that I’ve sent in the remaining information, how long until I have my completed returns?

A: The tax preparation process has multiple phases. By submitting your tax return information to our office (including completed Tax Organizer), you’re placed in the queue for preparation. During our busiest times, it can take 6+ weeks for your returns to come up in the preparation queue.

After your returns have been prepared, they’re placed in a separate queue to be reviewed by our team of senior accountants & Partners. Returns are reviewed in the order that they’re placed into review. Therefore, it is crucial that you complete the Tax Organizer in full and provide complete and clear information for efficient preparation of your returns. Didn’t receive your Tax Organizer? Contact us immediately.

Q: I have received my completed tax returns, but do not want to pay my tax balances until the April deadline. Should I wait to sign the E-File Authorization Form 8879?

A: No. You should sign and return your E-File Authorization Form(s) to us as soon as you approve the returns you’ve received from us. E-Filing your returns before submitting your payment(s) does not affect your filing in any way. In fact, it is best to E-File as soon as possible. Unexpected errors may occur during E-Filing which could make paper filing necessary. Filing early will save you from scrambling at the deadline.

Q: Can I get an early estimate of my refund or what I owe?

A: Our staff cannot provide any results (estimated or otherwise) until the returns have been prepared and reviewed. If you need results early, please plan accordingly and send your tax information to us as soon as possible.

Q: I’m going to be out of town in April, can I sign the E-File Authorization Form in advance?

A: No. E-File Authorization Forms contain the results of your tax return and are only permitted to be signed AFTER your returns have been completed. We use DocuSign for electronic signatures, making it very easy to e-sign your returns wherever you are.

Q: Do I need to provide original documents, or are photocopies ok?

A: Photocopies are absolutely fine! We do not need originals of any tax forms. In fact, if you choose to mail us your tax information, it’s best to only send us copies. You don’t want your only copy of an important tax form to be lost in the mail!

Q: You also prepare my child’s tax return; can I sign the E-File forms for them?

A: If your child is under 18 years of age, you’re permitted to sign the returns on their behalf as parent/guardian. If they’re 18 years or older, they need to sign their own returns. Many 18-22 year-olds are away at college when their tax returns are completed. But no worries — DocuSign allows us to obtain electronic signatures, which is especially helpful in these situations.

Q: How can I check the status of my tax return preparation?

A: You can call us or e-mail anytime you’d like an update on your tax return preparation. We understand that there are often long waits for clients while returns make it through the queue. We’re more than happy to update you on our progress anytime.

Q: How can I check the status of my tax refund?

A: Visit the following websites as needed.

Q: How do I make my tax payments (balances owed and& estimates)? Do I send my checks to Honeck O’Toole?

A: Never send checks for your balances owed or estimates to us. Every year, we receive a handful of client payments  intended for the IRS and/or state taxing authorities. Of course, we’ll forward them to the appropriate agencies on your behalf… but those payments may be considered late by the time they reach their correct destinations.

Please make your payments directly to the IRS and your state as needed.

You have a few options for making your tax payments:

  • You can mail a check with the vouchers we provide to you. Our cover letter details everything you need to do to make your payments on time. OR,
  • You can make instant payments online through the following websites. Note that you’ll need to register/verify some of your prior tax history on these websites to make sure they apply your payment correctly.

Didn’t find your question… or you need specific guidance?

Contact us and one of our team members will be back in touch as soon as possible.

Call 207-774-0882 or email us at