Are Tax Return deadlines going to be extended?
As of March 19, 2020:
As you know, our nation is in uncharted territory with the spread of COVID-19 and notably looking to be proactive about slowing its spread. That proactivity has directly affected all of us. Consequently, we have changed some processes given the federal and state directions to “socially distance” and “shelter in place”. This email is to let you know about how COVID-19 has affected our office and in turn how it may affect your tax filing process.
TAX DEADLINE IS STILL APRIL 15
The deadline for filing a federal personal income tax return remains April 15. The IRS is expected to postpone the April 15 tax filing deadline, but no official announcement has been made as yet. The IRS did postpone the time for which payments are due with the filing of the return, changing it from April 15th to July 15th. Consequently, we continue to work under the assumption that all tax returns are due April 15. Here’s what that means for you:
- If you have not provided us with your 2019 tax documentation, your 2019 tax return WILL VERY LIKELY go on extension. (If you have a special need for a refund, please contact us, however, your special need will be given close scrutiny). Please get your documents to us ASAP so that we can process an extension on your behalf. All extensions will be filed without calculation of any liability or any arrangements for electronic payment. This appears to be the industry standard at this time given the new payment deadline and provides added liquidity to your household by not affecting payment at April 15.
- If you have already provided us with your 2019 documentation, please know that we are working diligently to complete as many tax returns as possible by the April 15 deadline. However, we have seen an influx of documents over the last couple weeks and at the same time suffered a reduction in productive capacity given the need to socially distance. Those factors may prevent us from completing all returns for which we have information by the April 15 deadline. In those cases, your returns will be extended as noted above.
HOW TO GET YOUR INFORMATION TO OUR OFFICE
At this time, we are asking clients to refrain from initiating direct personal contact with us. This is for everyone’s safety. Here are all the ways you can get your information to us without seeing us in person (we are sad to not see many of you this year!):
- Send by USPS, FedEx or UPS (please copy your data for your records). These are tried and true methods that are still adequate for this purpose, although they introduce some level risk to you and us due to personal contact with delivery personnel and/or documents.
- Upload to Smart Vault This is the preferred method as it enables remote communication of your data and processing of your return while eliminating transmission risk (please call if you are not already using Smart Vault).
- Drop in the mail slot in the front of our building. You can always use this method to deliver to us. You may of course park in the lot, then walk out front to the door on Easton Road that has a mail slot (our main entrance does not). That door is always locked and drops into a locked area only we have access to. You can also call or email and let us know it’s there.
PRECAUTIONS FOR OUR OFFICE AND OUR STAFF
We are fortunate that our business does not rely on in-person contact to maintain operation. In fact, much of the work we do can be completed remotely and in isolation if necessary. To that end, all non-essential staff (tax preparers, bookkeeping personnel and payroll processors) are working remotely at this time and communicating with the office either by phone or by email. While these remote processes maintain our ability to communicate and produce, they are not as effective as in-person communication and production. As a result, we are unfortunately suffering a reduction in productive capacity at this time.
Stacey and I are in the office daily but have implemented safeguards to minimize personal contact. Please respect our efforts to socially distance ourselves. Also, we are sanitizing workspaces and tools (keyboard and phones in particular), quarantining paper documents delivered to us (24 hours), making sure to maintain appropriate personal distance from one another (six feet is recommended), being mindful to not directly pass items to one another and frequently sanitizing our hands. We hope that you might find these practices helpful in your home or place of business as well.
We all know that these are necessary but temporary precautions to take, and we are hopeful that all of you are faring well during this difficult time. I remain confident that we will overcome this adversity and urge everyone to remain calm and optimistic despite the challenges of the day.
If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out to us by phone or email. We look forward to resuming normal operations once it is safe to do so.
Be safe, be well, and wash your hands!
P.S. If you are unsure of how long you need to wash your hands (20 seconds) then check this out! www.washyourlyrics.com