Guide to Tax Season

with DiMercurio Advisors


Welcome to tax season!

Tax season can be intimidating, but there’s no need to worry. At DiMercurio Advisors, we’re committed to making complex financial information as simple and accessible as possible, and with that in mind, here’s a walk through of the latest evolution of our tax season experience.

Whether you’re a returning client or this is our first year working together, we’re looking forward to showing you our new and improved tax preparation process.


In this guide you'll learn:

  • What to expect from us throughout tax season
  • What we will need from you
  • The stages your tax return will go through and where you are in the process
  • Answers to other commonly asked questions about tax season

The Client Experience

Click any stage to scroll directly to it.

Stage 1:  Kickoff 

The first step of tax season with DiMercurio Advisors is to learn a little bit about each other. For you to learn about us, we have the Guide to Tax Season. So far so good. And for us to learn about you, we’ll be sending you a questionnaire about your tax situation and getting you introduced to the Suralink system.

Suralink is the new platform we use for receiving and organizing sensitive client information. It’s not just easy, it’s also safe and secure. More info on Suralink can be found in Stage 2: Document collection

First, we’ll be sending you the statement of work via Docusign, which is a key opportunity to get everyone on the same page about what we’ll be doing for you. Any distinct entities you need tax returns prepared for should appear on the statement of work.

This is also the time to get you set up on Suralink. We'll tell you more about how to use it in a moment, but for now just get logged on to the system.

The tax questionnaire then kickstarts the process by quickly running through the most common factors that could affect your tax return. We’re not going into any great detail here, just getting a snapshot of your tax situation. With that information, we can generate a customized document request list specific to you.

For personal tax returns, subjects like your marital status, your types of income, or your dependents are briefly covered.

For business tax returns, you’ll answer questions related to additional state filing requirements, extension preferences, or expected payments due, among other things.

It’s only a few pages of mostly yes-or-no questions, so it shouldn’t take too long. But it can make a huge difference in how quickly and efficiently your tax return is prepared.



  • Read and sign your statement of work
  • Follow instructions to get started on Suralink
  • Fill out our questionnaire
  • Read the Guide to Tax Season (you're off to a great start!)


Stage 2:  Document collection 

In order for our tax team to prepare your return, we need paperwork. Lots and lots of paperwork. Once we have a general overview of your situation, it’s time to get down to business. 

This is the stage of the process in which we collect all the raw data about your finances that will end up going into the tax return. This includes income, expenses, and anything else that could influence your tax liability for the year.

Check out our information checklists for businesses and individuals to get an idea of the info we'll be requesting.

If you’re wondering if you should tell us about something, tell us. We serve your needs best when we have all the necessary information. While we do the best we can, we aren't mind readers.

We use a new document workflow platform called Suralink that specializes in secure and user-friendly document request lists for tax, audit, and advisory teams. It lets us keep all your information in one place, even if you own multiple businesses that need their own tax returns.

If you’re a new client, your request list may be longer than expected because we don’t know everything about your business yet. Once the questionnaire is finished, our tax team uses the information you provide to generate a custom document list for each return you need prepared.

For maximum peace of mind, Suralink includes security features like multi-factor authentication and 256-bit encryption to keep your documents safe and sound.

Here’s some extra tips for getting the most out of Suralink.

  • Each return we’re preparing will have its own location in Suralink called an engagement. You can click into separate engagements to see what’s needed for each of them. Inside, just drag and drop your documents into the proper requests – there will be a gray box where you can put them.
  • The built-in comment feature lets you leave questions and clarifications directly attached to the relevant documents. They’re definitely not required, but if you need to let us know a little extra information, use a comment. For example, if we request documents you don’t have, or if you’re not sure what’s being requested.
  • There’s no immediate priority for uploading certain documents, they can be uploaded in any order.
  • If you have documents to upload but don’t see a request for them, upload them to the “Other documents” request at the bottom.
  • You can even customize your email reminders, so nothing falls through the cracks.

What this means for you: simple instructions and clear communication on a secure platform that you can count on to protect your sensitive documents.



  • Review customized info request in Suralink
  • Gather and upload requested documents
  • Comment on any non-applicable requests


Stage 3:  Check in 

When you complete your tax questionnaire and send us the relevant documents, it's time for your check in. This is where we go over any questions we have on the information provided, review your questionnaire, and provide an estimate of when your return will be prepared.

Once we've received 100% of the documents we need, your assigned tax team member will pick up the phone and give you a call (it should only take 5-15 minutes, but we can call back if we catch you at an inconvenient time).

The check-in call is specifically designed to ask and answer questions related to the tax returns we are currently preparing. If you'd like to schedule a more in depth consultation to discuss items related to business strategy, tax strategy, bookkeeping, or long term tax planning, please let us know and we'd be happy to schedule a separate consultation time for those services. 


  • 5-15 min call with a member of our team
  • Answer questions about your financials


Stage 4:  Production 

Okay, we’ve gotten to know each other a bit, you’ve sent us all the information we need, you’ve answered our questions and we’ve answered yours. Congrats, the hard part is over!

Now you get to sit back and relax, while our tax team handles your return. Throughout the tax preparation process, each tax return goes through multiple stages of preparation and review to ensure they are filed correctly based on the information provided.

If questions arise on our end while your return is being prepared, our team will reach out to you via email, so keep an eye on your inbox. And if you have any questions of your own during this time, send an email to and a team member will respond to you shortly.



  • Take it easy
  • Keep an eye out for communications from our team


Stage 5:  Finalizing 

We’re almost there! At this point, your tax returns are prepped and ready to go. You'll receive a copy of your final tax return via Docusign to review and approve.

At the same time, we'll send you a confirmation email which includes:

  • A summary of your tax bill due
  • Any adjusting journal entries that need to be made
  • Instructions on how to make a payment to the IRS

After you sign off on your tax return, it's time to file.

If you're e-filing, you'll be notified when we submit your return to the IRS and notified again once the IRS has accepted it. This usually takes about a week or so.

If you're filing by mail, we'll send you a package containing everything you need to send to the IRS, along with detailed instructions.



  • Review and approve your finalized tax return
  • If paper filing: receive package and mail to IRS
  • If e-filing: await IRS approval
  • Download a copy of your tax return for your personal records
    • Note: there's a document request fee if we have to pull them again later in the year, so be sure to grab them now!
  • Receive invoice and pay


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the statement of work?

    The statement of work is an official letter of engagement. Its purpose is to reconfirm services, estimate costs, and make sure all distinct business entities that need returns prepared have been taken into account. This gets everyone on the same page about the scope of the project.

  • What about state tax returns?

    We handle those too! One state return is included with the your tax filing, but our team will be happy to take care of any additional state tax returns that need preparation. See our tax pricing page for more information on price factors.

  • What if I need to make quarterly estimated tax payments?

    If your business is required to make quarterly estimated tax payments, reach out to our team and we’ll help you figure out how much you owe at what times.

  • What if you request a document I don’t have?

    Don't panic! Send in what you have and notify our tax team as soon as possible. We'll help you figure out where to find the information we need.

  • Are we talking about tax planning?

    No, but we also offer that service. Tax preparation is about handling the results of your previous year's activity, while tax planning is about how to get the best results in the future. Let our tax team know if you'd like to schedule a tax planning advisory meeting at our hourly rates.

  • Why do you need to talk to me about the documents?

    Plugging in the documents you provide is generally a pretty straightforward process, but we like to give everyone -- both you and our team -- the opportunity to ask clarifying questions and preemptively solve problems.

  • What will communication look like during this process?

    After the kickoff and check in, communication will primarily be conducted via email. At a minimum, you can expect communication from our team at the following checkpoints:

    1. Welcome to Tax Season email
    2. Courtesy reminder email 2-3 weeks later
    3. Pre-check email once 50% or more of requested documents have been received
    4. Check in call once 100% of requested documents have been received
    5. Informational email once your return has been reviewed with a summary of taxes due
    6. Confirmation email once your return has been e-filed
    7. Confirmation email once the return is accepted by the IRS

    Additional back-and-forth communication may occur throughout the process if needed, so keep an eye on your inbox!

  • How long does tax prep take? When/why would I need an extension?

    Preparation time varies, mostly based on complexity. The standard timeline is 3-6 weeks after all documents are received. 

    Extensions will be filed as needed, based on current team capacity and client response time.

  • What is e-filing?

    E-filing means filing tax returns online rather than via paper mail. It's faster, it's easier, and we prefer submitting tax returns this way whenever possible. For more info, view our article on e-filing vs paper filing.

  • How long does paper filing take?

    Well, it will take hardly any time for you to drop your prepped paper tax return in the mail. However, it could be anywhere from a few weeks to six months before the IRS gets to it.

  • How do I prepare for next year?

    Stay on top of your documents, keep clean financial books, and meet with one of our tax advisors early in the year, and you should be in good shape when tax season comes around.

    We can make quarterly estimated tax calculations and perform bookkeeping throughout the year to alleviate many of the unknown variables during tax season. Let a member of our team know if you'd like to learn more!

  • When do I pay for my return?

    After your completed tax return is sent to you via DocuSign, you will receive an invoice. You can pay that invoice on our website.

  • How much will my tax return(s) cost?

    Because every tax return is different, pricing may vary from one to another. With that said, we've made tax pricing as simple as possible.

    As the tax returns become more complex, the price may increase. For details on tax return pricing factors, view our tax pricing page.