The recent coronavirus outbreak has changed life as we know it right now for everyone in the United States. As we all get through it together, there are a few things I wanted everyone to know.
IRS Filing Deadline
There was some speculation that the filing deadline for individual tax returns would be extended past April 15th. It was announced this week that the filing deadline has NOT been extended past April 15th. The President did say that the ability to pay without penalties or interest has been extended 90 days after April 15th, but that Americans still needed to file by that deadline. What was not clear was if you extended your return if you still would get that same protection. The implication was that you did not, but I do not know this to be a fact.
The state of Georgia has not announced any deadline or payment extensions that I am aware of as of this writing.
There has been discussion about everyone receiving stimulus payments. President Trump stated this week that he would like to get that done for the American public. The amount discussed was $1,000 per person, but nothing has been formally approved by Congress as of this writing.
Several questions, have arisen, and until something is finalized, nothing is assured. Here are a few of the questions I have been getting:
1. If we get the money, is it taxable?
It could be, but I suspect it wouldn’t be. Back in 2008, there were stimulus payments that were called “tax rebates.” These were not taxable, but again, that is not guaranteed.
2. Does everyone get the money, including children?
Again, going on past history, I would suspect dependents would not get this. Back in 2008, stimulus payments were $600 per person or $1,200 per couple married filing joint, if you were under a certain income level. Again, we just don’t know for sure until this is written.
Payroll Tax Holiday
A payroll tax holiday is another thing that has been discussed, but as of this writing nothing has been decided. I will try to address that in a future email and as this develops.
Our Office Response
Our office is open and here to assist you or your business as needed. We have taken steps to protect both our clients and our team during this time.
As of this morning, we have made a few changes you should be aware of. Our team is still in the office working hard to make sure your tax returns are all done timely, and we foresee no delays with that. We do have backup plans to allow the team to work remotely to support you during this time, should the need occur. We have closed our lobby and will only take in-person appointments when necessary. We are disinfecting the lobby and meeting rooms on a daily basis at minimum, and more often as necessary.
As many of you know, our office used to be a bank. We have opened the drive through to allow you to drop off and pick up your tax returns and other documents as needed. We will try to be monitoring the drive through as needed. There is a call button, but if we don’t come to the window, you may need to call our office when you get here (770) 507-6625.
We are expanding the use of virtual meetings. We have some great capability to meet with you, share a screen and discuss things over the internet. We are happy to schedule a virtual meeting, and if need be, will meet after hours and on Saturdays as needed to make sure you get your returns timely.
We have greatly expanded our use of internet portals to share documents and information between us securely. We sent out an invitation to clients back in the Fall to our new secure platform, Liscio. If you have not gotten signed up on that, we are happy to help you do that. That system is by invitation only, so if we sent you an invitation and you never signed up, then your invitation expired after 7 days. Please call or email our office and we are happy to help you get set up with that.
Through that Liscio system, we have a phone app that allows you to communicate with us easily and securely. This app allows you to take pictures of documents to send to us. It also allows you to instantly send messages to us. The phone app is also by invitation only for security purposes, so again, please contact our office if we can help you get that set up.
We have made it easier to electronically sign documents for tax returns. To eliminate the need to travel to our office, we have expanded our ability to accept e-signatures on tax returns. This process is strictly regulated by the IRS because of fraud, so they require a knowledge-based authentication process to electronically sign tax returns. This system will ask you several questions to verify your identity before allowing you to sign these documents. Please know that we do not have answers to these questions, and these should be questions only you will know. Our office will be absorbing the fees for this service to help facilitate easy processing for you. (We will send more information if you would like to use this service).
We also have a firm text number that all team members can see and respond to. Please be aware that we had another system previously, and the number has recently changed. If you would like this number to instantly communicate with our office, please call or email us and we will send that right over.
These are trying times, and we are here to support you. I want to say thank you to everyone for working with me over the years, and we all need to help each other. I want to extend an offer to discuss any concerns you may have with your business or personal situation during this time.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can help you in any way.