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Archive for the ‘TaxSeason’ Category

Virus Extends Filing Deadlines

Posted by taxguru on March 13, 2020

For the past several days, there has been a lot of speculation that all of the disruption surrounding the nationwide panic over the Wuhan Virus would motivate IRS to officially extend the upcoming filing due dates for 2019 income tax returns; March 16 for 1120S (S-corps) and 1065s (LLC & partnerships) and April 15 for personal (1040), trusts (1041) and Gift Tax (709) returns.  With today’s declaration by the President of a National Emergency, that should be a certainty.  However, no official announcement has yet been made by IRS on their news page.

Normally in situations of large disasters and emergencies, IRS is the first to issue such filing extensions so that affected people can focus on dealing with their more pressing problems.  The State tax agencies then usually follow suit with their own announcements of filing extensions.  Some States, such as California, have a policy of automatically complying with any IRS sanctioned extension of filing deadlines.  In the current situation, the Calif Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has beaten IRS to the punch and has issued its own press release giving a new due date of June 15 for all tax returns that are due March 16 and April 15.  

This is different from a normal extension that taxpayers file, because that kind is only for requesting an extension of time to file the tax returns.  It is not an extension of time for paying the taxes owed.  Penalties and interest are assessed on late payments of taxes, while the normal extension avoids the much more expensive late filing penalties.  This new emergency related extension allows all Calif. taxes for 2019 to be paid up until June 15 without any additional charges for penalties or interest. 

Whether this June 15 date will stick as the due date will obviously depend on how long it takes for the panic in the country to subside and things to get back to normal.  If the virus scare stretches out for months and months. there is a possibility that the June 15 due date will itself be extended.

I intend to add to this post as news comes out, including the anticipated IRS announcement, as well as any by other States.

This is definitely going to be another very strange Tax Season.

[Update 3/14/2020] – Still no official announcement from IRS.  The U.S. Tax Court has announced that it has cancelled all of its March and April trials, which will really back things up for them.

[Updates 3/15/2020] – Still no official announcement from IRS. I’ve seen some mentions that any delay in deadlines requires an act of Congress, which makes no sense.  For the past several years, whenever there has been a presidentially declared disaster or emergency, such as from hurricanes and tornadoes, IRS has been pretty quick to announce official extensions of time to file returns for those in the affected areas, without any congressional action. On March 6, IRS announced an extended filing deadline of July 15 for those in the vicinity of the Nashville Tennessee tornadoes. This current virus panic is the same kind of thing, although on a much larger geographic scale, the entire country.

Some free tax assistance services, such as AARP’s Tax-Aide, have announced they have shut down due to this current health scare.  Seeing as how the affects of this virus are supposed to be much more dangerous for us older folks, that does seem to be a very prudent move.  As I have had to constantly remind clients, whenever it is necessary to prioritize between tax and health matters, health should always be first in line, with or without any official IRS permission.

Posted in Calif, extensions, IRS, TaxDay, TaxSeason | Comments Off on Virus Extends Filing Deadlines

We’re in for a very bumpy Tax Season

Posted by taxguru on January 16, 2019

All last year, as we learned how messy and complicated the hastily drafted TCJA was, along with the absurdly redesigned 1040 forms, I warned that the 2019 filing season for 2018 tax returns would be a big mess.  Now, with the government shutdown, it is going to get even crazier for everyone, filers and preparers.

Since we are in uncharted waters here, uncertainty and confusion are the words of the Season.  I will try to post whatever useful info I come across on how to cope with this unusual situation.

Here are some resources I have seen:

The IRS official contingency plan for operating during the shutdown – 132 page PDF   

IRS’s Official Press Release on this situation.

Forbes Magazine’s much more concise summary of the IRS plan.

 

Tax Court is also delayed

The shutdown isn’t just affecting the IRS.  Its Tax Court has also been closed down, with trial sessions being canceled all over the country.  This is going to result in even longer delays in getting to trial than has already been the case for years. 

 

[Update 1/24/19]  From Politico:

IRS faces chaotic tax season amid shutdown

[Update 1/25/19] From Washington Post:

At least 14,000 unpaid IRS workers did not show up for work as broad shutdown disruption hits tax agency, according to House aides

[Update 1/26/19] From Washington Post:

IRS will need at least a year to recover from government shutdown, watchdog tells Congress

Posted in shutdown, TaxSeason | Comments Off on We’re in for a very bumpy Tax Season

Tax Season Recap

Posted by taxguru on May 3, 2016

For those who believe it’s our patriotic duty to pay in as much as possible to our overlords in DC, Jodi Miller of NewsBusted has a quick analysis of this most recent Tax Season

 

Excerpted from the 5/3/16 episode of NewsBusted.

Posted in TaxSeason, video | Comments Off on Tax Season Recap

Tax Day Carols

Posted by taxguru on April 18, 2015

Katherine McPhee and James Cordon sing Christmas carols adapted for Tax Season.
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Posted in Music, TaxSeason, video | Comments Off on Tax Day Carols

Best Code Ever

Posted by taxguru on April 15, 2015

Funny musical video about Tax Season from Remy via Reason TV.

Posted in humor, TaxSeason, video | Comments Off on Best Code Ever

IRS “Customer Service” is Slipping

Posted by taxguru on January 27, 2015

IRS commissioner: ‘It’s a challenging year’

From this week’s episode of NewsBusted comes this tip about the upcoming Tax Season.

Posted in IRS, TaxSeason | Comments Off on IRS “Customer Service” is Slipping

Tax Season has begun

Posted by taxguru on January 22, 2015

From Jimmy Kimmel via Newsmax:

Today was the first day you could file a tax return. If you filed a tax return today, congratulations, nerd.

People who file their taxes on the first day are the grown-up version of the kids who ask the teacher for extra homework in school.

The IRS suggests filing early to reduce the chance that someone will steal your identity and file before you. Honestly, if somebody wants my identity so badly they’ll file my tax return for me, go crazy. You can mow my lawn while you’re at it, too.

Parody from National Report:

IRS Declares Bankruptcy: Many Refunds Due Cancelled

Posted in humor, TaxSeason | Comments Off on Tax Season has begun

Messy Tax Season Ahead – DIY Will Be Dangerous

Posted by taxguru on January 14, 2015

With all of the last minute tax law changes, as well as the ridiculous ObamaCare issues to deal with, it’s going to be a chaotic Tax Season from the side of us practitioners.  It doesn’t help any that IRS will be just as messed up as we will be.

IRS cuts taxpayer services as filing returns gets harder

IRS ignores phone calls, does not let elderly people leave messages 

IRS chief warns of refund delays, poor customer service this tax year

Obama administration begins to issue vital Obamacare forms for tax filers

Obamacare Problems? Now in Hands of IRS

As I have made clear over the years, I have never been a fan of people preparing their own tax returns, for their own protection.  Even with the most expensive tax software, it’s still a matter of GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out).  It’s similar to buying a scalpel and a book on human anatomy and assuming that you are properly prepared to perform surgery on a person.

I am once again stressing this point because I have been receiving all kinds of emails from PR firms and software companies asking me to promote their DIY tax programs.  I just can’t do that.  What is very clear is the fact that this Tax Season is going to be the worst time for tax DIYers.  Even we experienced tax pros will be having problems.  Amateurs have no chance of getting everything right.

What I can confidently predict is that we will have a lot of work redoing tax returns and straightening out DIY screw-ups.  The problem is that not all tax mistakes can be corrected with amended returns.  Some things that are done on original returns are not reversible and could cost DIYers thousand of dollars in lost tax benefits, making what they supposedly saved in tax prep fees pale in comparison.

Great deals on gadgets

QuickBooks Premier 2015 Software - Enjoy $120 off! Save Time & Get Organized!

Posted in IRS, TaxSeason | Comments Off on Messy Tax Season Ahead – DIY Will Be Dangerous

It will be a very confusing Tax Season…

Posted by taxguru on November 27, 2014

Will Congress be able to pass legislation retroactively renewing the several expired tax provisions in time for the upcoming Tax Season?  Either way, IRS and the tax software companies will be in a mad rush to adjust their systems to account for the changes.  It’s going to delay when tax returns can be actually prepared and processed by IRS.

 7 Tax Extenders That Affect You – Almost all tax returns have at least one of these items, especially the Sales Tax deduction that is big in tax free states, such as here in Florida.  

 

‘Short sales’ home sellers face huge tax bills if breaks aren’t reinstated. Families would have to pay taxes on forgiven mortgage debt as if it were income.  

 

How immigration killed the tax deal – Extender legislation may be lost in the crossfire from the battle over illegal immigrants.

 

TaxCoach Software: Are you giving your clients what they really want?

 

Posted in TaxSeason | Comments Off on It will be a very confusing Tax Season…

Messy Tax Season Around the Corner

Posted by taxguru on November 6, 2014

With all of the changes and  new info required by ObamaCare, as well as the potential for last minute retroactive tax extenders of things that expired 12/31/13, we will be dealing with a lot more confusion than normal.  

IRS Commissioner Predicts Miserable 2015 Tax Filing Season  

 

Blame Congress? Your Tax Refund Could Be Delayed in 2015

 

 

Posted in TaxSeason | Comments Off on Messy Tax Season Around the Corner