How does ECM tax services work? We ask you easy–to–answer questions about your life that affect your tax situation (i.e., Are you married? Do you have kids?)
And fill in all the right tax forms behind the scenes. Your answers tell us which deductions and credits to look for, and what to ask next. If you are ever unsure about how to answer a question, we're here to help. The result: You will be coached along the way as you do your taxes and get the help you need, when you need it. Meanwhile, we will find every deduction and credit that applies to you.
What do I need to get started?
Your email address, W-2 or 1099 is all you will need.
How do I know this product is right for me?
Everyone has a different or unique tax situation. We are here to provide the services to support your hustle.
Can I file my state taxes with ECM?
Yes! Every state is different–each with their own tax laws. In fact, some states don't levy a state income tax at all. But if you live in a state where you have to file a state tax return, we will let you know and help you get them done right.
What if I am a US nonresident living, studying, and/or working in the US?
Our tax professionals are trained to file any and every type of tax return including our foreign residents..
What if I have questions along the way?
We are here to answer all of the concerns you may have regarding your taxes, if you need it, by phone we are here to help.
What if I make a mistake?
Don’t worry ECM double-checks your return for errors as you go, and before you file. We also guarantee our calculations are 100% accurate. If you have questions, just ask us. We have knowledgeable tax preparers available by phone* or via email to answer any questions you may have.
Do I need a credit card to pay ECM?
We accept all forms of payments (Cashapp, Venmo, Zelle, PayPal, major Credit and Debit cards) but you can also choose to pay for your fees right out of your federal tax refund.
How quickly can I get my refund?
IRS will provide an actual refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. Most refunds will be issued in less than 21 days.
Am I covered if I get audited?
Yes. We offer one-on-one audit guidance year-round from our experienced and knowledgeable tax professionals. We will let you know what to expect and how to prepare in the unlikely event you receive an audit letter from the IRS.
What if I don’t have a bank account?
No problem. You can have your refund mailed in a check. You can receive your refund by check, whether you're printing or e-filing. This will take longer than direct deposit.
How do I know how much I owe in each state?
Residents pay tax on all of the income (from all sources) they received during the calendar year. Residents get a tax credit for taxes paid to any other states.
Example: A California resident receives $20,000 from a rental building in Arkansas. The resident reports only the $20,000 to Arkansas and pays $2,000 in tax to Arkansas. Since the person is a California resident, California also taxes the $20,000, but gives a $2,000 tax credit for the tax you paid to Arkansas.
Part-year residents follow each state's rules. Some states separate the income, and tax only their state's income. Or a state may calculate the tax on all income as if you were a resident, and then allocate the tax based on "in state sources/all sources."
Figuring the apportionment percentage
Regardless of whether you are a part-year resident or a nonresident in the state where you are working, you will probably need to complete an apportionment schedule. This form can usually be found in the state's part-year or nonresident income tax return. You use the schedule to "apportion" how much of your income is taxable in each state.
After you use the apportionment schedule to allocate the appropriate amount of your income and deductions to the new state, you need to calculate what percentage of your total income is state income. We'll call this the "apportionment percentage," and it is used in the rest of the calculations.
For example, if your total income was $50,000 and you earned $30,000 in a second state where you moved during the year, your apportionment percentage is 30,000 divided by 50,000, or 60 percent.
You generally use the apportionment percentage in one of two common methods to calculate your state income tax
Common method 1
Some states require you to calculate your tax as if you were a resident in the state for the entire year. In other words, you determine your state's taxable income as if you were a full-year resident and calculate a full year's state tax on this taxable income. You then apply the apportionment percentage to this tax to determine the tax you owe in the new state.
Common method 2
Other states require you to prorate your itemized deductions, personal exemptions and certain other allowable deductions and credits using your apportionment percentage, so the taxes you pay to the new state are based on this prorated amount.
What do I do if I'm a nonresident in the new state?
As a nonresident, you still have to use an apportionment schedule to determine how much tax you owe in each state, but the interesting twist here is that you also pay tax on all of your income for the entire year to your resident state. Why do the apportionment schedule, then? Because you pay taxes on what you earned in the temporary state in addition to what you pay to your resident state.
Does this sound like double taxation? It is, except that most states usually allow a credit on your resident return for the taxes you paid to the other (nonresident) state. This usually means that you will not pay any more tax than you would if you did not have to complete the temporary state's return. But if your nonresident state has higher taxes than your resident state, you might end up paying more in total taxes because your resident state won't allow you a full credit.
Also, if you have enough deductions to significantly reduce your taxes for your resident state, but don't have any of those deductions for your temporary state, you might have to pay higher taxes overall. If this is the case, you will not have enough resident state taxes to use the full credit from the nonresident state, and you can not carry over the excess nonresident taxes to use as a credit in a later year.
When should I file more than one state income tax return?
You may have to file more than one state income tax return if you have income from, or business interests in, other states. Here are some examples:
Fortunately, in most cases your resident state allows you to take a credit for the taxes you have to pay to the other state, as in a temporary residence situation. Check your state tax website for information on whether your state offers this credit. ECM can also help you figure out the credit.