Let’s face it: we’ve just said goodbye to a year like no other. And though it’s “officially” over, we are continuing to adapt our best practices to align with the changing tax laws, as well as the most up-to-date health and safety guidelines. With the benefit of our clients in mind, we’ve put together the list below to help ensure that we keep things running smoothly and efficiently this season, despite the limitations we are all facing.
- You do not need to contact our office to request that a Tax Year Organizer be sent to you. Tax Organizers will be delivered by regular mail or uploaded on the portal, depending on how you have received them previously. Our only automated delivery method for organizers is via the portal. Keep an eye out for an e-mail from Secure File Pro indicating your organizer has been placed in your portal folder.
- Make sure you are on our e-mail list! We know that everyone gets too many e-mails, but this is still the fastest and most effective way for us to communicate with clients, and we generally send no more than two e-mails per month. If we do not currently have your preferred e-mail address, then please take a minute to sign up for our email list or update your information through the opt-in link on our website home page or by sending your first and last name and e-mail address to: [email protected].
- We will begin e-filing on January 27, 2021. With IRS staffing shortages, processing could take longer than usual this year, so we are aiming to get a jump on the season by starting our clients’ e-filings as soon as we can.
- Provide us with all your information, all at one time. Missing or incorrect information, or information that comes in piecemeal causes hiccups that may cause your return to get pushed back. The Organizer we send out is the best tool we have to aid us in processing your return. The more accurate and complete the organizer is, the quicker we can file your return.
- Be sure to include Our 2020 Income Tax Checklist with your paperwork. We created this checklist because we have learned that if a return is delayed because any of these items are missing it can take up to nine months to correct since IRS access is limited due to offices being closed and employees working remotely. This form must be completed in order for us to process your tax return.
- Collect any questions you have about your return and include them in writing with your organizer. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to answer questions outside of the time that we are dedicating to your individual return. For this reason, we ask that any questions you have be submitted on a separate sheet along with your paperwork. That way we can address them and provide answers while we have your information in hand and eliminate the guesswork!
- Keep your medical receipts—literally. If you think your medical and dental expenses in 2020 might be high enough to deduct, please add up what you spent, and provide us only the total amount. Sending us your receipts can not only jeopardize the privacy of your records, but it will delay processing your return since we do not have the staff to add them up on your behalf.
- Visit our website for office updates. Due to the pandemic we have changed how we operate in this new climate. To keep our employees and clients safe and minimize the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus, we will not be having in person appointments, but we will be establishing a safe and secure drop off and pickup protocol for you and will post it on our website. Our newsletter will be the main line of communication as the COVID regulations for businesses change, so please make sure you are on the list!
- Please be patient. We have put a lot of thought into how we can tackle this tax season with as few speedbumps as possible. And like so many of you, we—and the IRS— continue to work within the limitations of health and safety guidelines. We sincerely appreciate your patience as we work to get your returns taken care of quickly and accurately!
We are confident that these steps will help all of us get through this unusual tax season with ease.