To say that coronavirus (COVID-19) has taken our world by storm would be to put it lightly. It’s turned nearly every industry on its head and affected the personal lives of people across the globe. And with a recent announcement from the IRS, it’s officially shaking up the American tax industry, as well.
On Saturday, the IRS released an official document moving the filing deadline to July 15, 2020, for all taxpayers. Additionally, taxpayers can now defer the amount owed in federal taxes. Any amount owed is now due on July 15 rather than April 15.
The IRS says the new filing and payment deadlines extend to every American taxpayer. Specifically, they say these new dates impact “individuals, trusts and estates, corporations, and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.”
These extended deadlines likely come as a relief to many of your clients. For starters, it means they don’t need to leave their homes to meet with you to prepare their taxes until this summer. It also means that they don’t have to worry about paying a sum to the federal government, a welcome deferral when many peoples’ livelihoods are taking hits due to the economic slowdown COVID-19 worsens by the week.
You can offer your clients more good news. They don’t need to take any steps to take advantage of these extended deadlines. The extensions are automatic.
That said, if any of your clients need more time past July 15, you can help them file for further extension. Use Form 4868 for individuals and Form 7004 for businesses.
The IRS is continuing to accept filings during this time and says they’re working to issue all refunds within 21 days. If you have clients who expect a refund, you can still file for them.
Of course, practice social distancing as you help them. Many tax professionals are using video call technology to file with their clients without exposing themselves or others to undue health risks.
Offering digital filing services can help your business maintain a revenue stream through the stay-at-home orders while also offering support to your clients. Many families and individuals could use a financial boost right now, and their tax refund can deliver.
You already know that most people wait until the last minute to file their taxes. With the deadline extension, it’s safe to assume that your busy season this year will fall in June and July. It may serve you to use this slow season while we’re all being encouraged to stay at home to complete your continuing education now. If you do, you won’t have to worry about finishing your tax consultant or tax preparer hours later in the year when all of our schedules will inevitably be impacted by not just the extended filing deadline, but also by the uncertainty that comes with this unprecedented situation.
With stay-at-home orders in place for many states across the country, it could be an ideal time to complete your continuing education hours online. IRS-approved courses are available digitally for tax professionals in Oregon, California, and many other states.
Additionally, you can complete the continuing education required for your participation in the IRS’s Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) online during this time. Complete your 15 or 18 hours now when your appointments calendar is likely to slow so you won’t have to worry about these hours when things pick back up as the extended deadline approaches.
If you have questions about using this unexpectedly slow spring to complete your required or optional continuing education, contact our TaxCE.com team today.