Bay Area Residents: Find Resources and Information to Help You Prepare Your Tax

Income tax returns are due on April 18, 2017. No, that is not a typo. This year, April 15 falls on a Saturday, and Monday, April 17, is Emancipation Day (a holiday celebrated in Washington, D.C.). Consequently, for 2017 only, the IRS has pushed the deadline for filing income tax returns to April 18. Whether you'll be taking advantage of those extra days or you'll have your 2016 taxes completed by next week, a little tax help is always beneficial. Check out the resources below for everything you need to know about getting your taxes done and filed on time!

Get Your Income Taxes Done With Our Tax Preparation Guide

On this page:

How do I get ready to begin completing my tax return?
Now that I've filed, when can I expect my refund?
What if my refund doesn't arrive?
How do I prepare for next year?
Selected resources for Bay Area taxpayers
Related articles on tax preparation
Find a Diamond Certified tax preparation firm


"I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is, I would be just as proud for half of the money." --Arthur Godfrey  

Prepare to Prepare: Getting Ready To Do Your Taxes

Like house painting, preparing to prepare your tax return comprises the bulk of the work. With good preparation, actually completing your tax return is a piece of cake. If you’re one of those people who carefully manage tax documents all year long, pat yourself on the back. If you’re like those of us who find tax preparation painful at best, read on.

First: Organize Whether or not you’re using a tax preparer, having organized paperwork will make all the difference. As your....

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Like mothers, taxes are often misunderstood but seldom forgotten

Preparing for Next Year

While the beautiful days of winter may be a tax season perk, the real prize comes once you’ve successfully prepared and submitted your tax return. If you’re going to receive a refund this year, congratulations! Now, let’s think about not only how to spend it, but how to spend it to maximize your refund next year. And if you’re not going to receive a refund this year, you may want to consider making some deductible expenditures.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Do you own a rental property? Any maintenance...

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My Refund

Now that I've filed, when will I get my refund?
According to the IRS, nine out of 10 taxpayers receive their refund within 21 days of filing, regardless of whether they filed electronic or paper returns. While this may be true, don’t rule out the chances of being the one out of 10. If you file a paper return, you may want to expect your return within a six- to eight-week window so you can be happily surprised when (and if) it comes early. Filing electronically and selecting the Direct Deposit option can dramatically shorten this period, and you could get your refund in as little as 10 days.

What if my refund doesn't arrive?
You can check on the status of your return by using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on, or the IRS2GO phone app, which is available for free download in the Apple App Store and the Android Marketplace.

For e-returns, your status should be available approximately three days after you file. For paper returns, it may take up to four weeks for your refund status to be available.

Find a Diamond Certified Tax Preparation Firm

Russell Barnett, EA 
(408) 389-5148
Since 2003, Russell Barnett, EA has helped resolve tax matters for Northern California clients. A member of...View Company Report

The Lee Accountancy Group, Inc.
(408) 389-5148
The Lee Accountancy Group, Inc. provides a wide range of tax and accounting services for individuals and small businesses in Alameda...View Company Report

Craig Lorenz, CPA
(707) 200-4170
Craig Lorenz, CPA provides a wide range of income tax and accounting services....View Company Report

Sterck Kulik O’Neill Accounting Group, Inc.
(415) 433-4500
Sterck Kulik O’Neill Accounting Group, Inc. provides a full range of public accounting services for clients throughout...View Company Report

Davis & Company 
(510) 398-0713
Davis & Company provides a wide range of financial services for individuals and...View Company Report

 Passarell Tax & Bookkeeping Services
(707) 981-4697 

Passarell Tax & Bookkeeping Services prepares and files taxes, organizes...View Company Report 

Learn why you should choose a Diamond Certified company. 

Taxation with or without representation

Related Articles on Tax Preparation

Tax-Wise: Tips on Filing Your 2016 Return
By mid-February, tax season is officially in full swing. Whether you’re filing your own return or having a professional handle it for you, there are a few things you and every other taxpayer should know. Here are some basic tips from some industry experts...Read More

New and Higher Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Windows
Have you been thinking about installing new windows? John Gorman, owner of Save Energy Company, a Diamond Certified company, says... Read More

Stop Thieves: Be Careful What You Discard
I will be the first to admit that I have never thought twice about throwing any and all pre-approved... Read More

Hiring an Accountant for Small Business
When hiring an accountant for your small business, take time to assess more than general qualifications. Good accountants are crucial for... Read More

California Tax Preparers by Type
There are four types of tax preparers in California, so it’s beneficial to know their specific areas of expertise before hiring one. First are the California... Read More

Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax return."

Selected Resources for Taxpayers

The IRS has a deep archive of useful online tax resources. Here are a few:

For useful, reliable, easy-to-digest tax information, try the personal finance publication stalwart, Kiplinger.

Inexperienced tax payers are prime targets for fraudsters. Here are some shady circumstances to look out for from

Finally, if you have a particularly complicated tax situation, offers many resources for DIY legal solutions, like this guide to settling old tax debts.