Tax FAQ

Have a question about taxes? Chances are, we have the answer here.


What is a tax organizer and how do I use it?

In mid-January, Lighthouse uploads your tax organizer to your SecureFilePro tax portal. Be on the lookout for the email that it’s available! The organizer contains important information as well as forms you will need to print, sign and upload back to your portal. Be sure to access your organizer before you start gathering your tax documents. See our guided tutorial on how to use your tax organizer.

What is the SecureFilePro tax portal?

SecureFilePro™ is a secure client file exchange web portal that allows you to exchange confidential documents securely and conveniently with us. Lighthouse provides each client with their own secure tax portal to utilize when uploading tax documents. Your secure tax portal is always the safest, most reliable method to get your information to us in these trying times.

How do I access the SecureFilePro tax portal?

You can access your tax portal via our website, or directly. You will also receive an email with a link to the website when we set up your tax portal. When first accessing the tax portal, you will need to establish a password. Keep in mind that Lighthouse does not have access to, and does not maintain, client passwords. If you have forgotten your portal username or password, don’t worry! You can simply click the link “Forgot Username/Password” on the portal login page. Make sure to see our guided tutorial on how to use the SecureFile Pro tax portal.

What is the tax return preparation process like at Lighthouse?

Easy! Check out our handy reference chart that will guide you through each step of the tax preparation process. You can also see our guided tutorial on the process.

How do I know if I should adjust my withholding?

The IRS encourages everyone to use the Tax Withholding Estimator to perform a “paycheck checkup”. This will help ensure you have the right amount of tax withheld from your paycheck. Make sure you have your most recent pay stubs and your most recent tax return handy for reference. Click here for more information.

Should I itemize or take the standard deduction?

You have a choice between taking a standard deduction or itemizing your deductions. To decide which is more advantageous, compare the value of the standard deduction versus the total value of your itemized deductions. Itemized deductions include expenses like mortgage interest, the first $10,000 of state income and real estate taxes, and charitable deductions. For 2020, the standard deduction is $12,400 single/married filing separately, $18,650 head of household and $24,800 married filing jointly. If you are at least 65 years old or blind, you can also take an additional deduction of $1,650 for single/head of household or $1,300 for married filing jointly.

Can I check my refund status somewhere?

Yes! The IRS has a handy “Where’s my Refund” tool that enables a taxpayer to check the status of your refund as soon as 24 hours after your return is e-filed. You will need your social security number, your filing status and your exact refund amount in order to utilize the tool. Click here for more information. You can also download the “IRS2Go” app for your mobile device from your Apple or Android store. Lighthouse is not able to determine the exact date your refund will be issued.

Where can I find information about my economic stimulus payment?

You can check the status of your economic impact payment on the IRS website.

What if I have additional tax questions?

The Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) is a tool that provides answers to several tax law questions specific to your individual circumstances. Based on your input, it can determine if you have to file a tax return, your filing status, if you can claim a dependent, if the type of income you have is taxable, if you’re eligible to claim a credit, or if you can deduct expenses. Click here for more information. Additionally, you can always call Lighthouse directly with any questions you may have.