The filing deadline may be extended, but as you know, that’s no reason to wait. There are significant advantages to filing your taxes as soon as possible that should be communicated to clients. Are you reaching out to schedule virtual appointments and share the importance of filing now? Here are some things to consider.
For clients who will owe
It’s important to remind clients that if they owe money on their federal taxes they don’t have to actually pay them until July 15th. They will not be fined, and debt will not accrue interest until after the new deadline. Individuals and business owners should still check their state requirements, but at the federal level there are really no downsides to filing now.
For People Counting on the Stimulus Payment
Congress passed a resolution to send a one-time payment of $1,200 to most individuals earning less than $75,000 per year, with an added $500 per child. That means a married couple making less than $150,000 with two children can expect a $3,400 no-questions-asked cash payment from the government.
Congress has said individuals can expect their stimulus payment sometime in April but that’s only if their Direct Deposit information is up-to-date with the IRS. If not, you could be waiting months for that money. This is important information to relay for those who haven’t filed taxes in the last couple years, taxpayers who may have changed their Direct Deposit information recently, or taxpayers who don’t have Direct Deposit with a bank.
The easiest way to remedy this is to simply file taxes as you normally would and update the information with the IRS. You will get your refund (or again, if you owe money you won’t be penalized) and the government will be able to send your $1,200 on time.
One note: Individuals receiving Social Security who may not normally file a tax return will also receive the payment just as they normally would receive their benefits.
For clients likely to get a refund
This may seem like a no brainer but if you have clients who normally receive a refund and who haven’t made an appointment with you yet, remind them that now is the time. Getting that money now can help in the future should anything happen.
Millions of Americans are already beginning to struggle to pay their bills as our economy deals with an unprecedented rise in unemployment, reduced hours or lost gig income, unexpected medical bills, and a dramatic drop in revenue for small business owners. A cash payment from the government refunding taxes from last year can give individuals a lifeline at a critical time.
If you haven’t already set-up a way to offer virtual tax preparation services now is the time. Check out our article on running a virtual tax office for ideas.