I normally write you a weekly strategy note (or so), but these are NOT normal times, are they?
And before I get into what’s happening with the IRS deadline — to separate some of the rumors from the reality — I first want to check with you:
How are you doing? Email me back through the email button at the top of the page and let me know if there is anything we can do to help. We are meeting remotely with clients, and continuing to have new people contact us who need help.
Helping is what we do. It is our J-O-B, and we’re (very) thankful that we can still DO our job in the midst of this storm.
I mean that sincerely. We have been talking with a bunch of Woodlands clients the last few days (in an appropriate, socially-distant way, ha!), and some are struggling mightily.
These struggles are financial — already losing jobs, and/or steady income because of the pandemic. They are also circumstantial — school cancellations have so many people scrambling to figure out this new normal, and children and parents who aren’t used to spending their days at home together, now ARE. This is not easy.
You don’t need me to paint the picture, you’re living it.
But before I get to the “business part” of this strategy note, I just want to reach out again and emphasize that we’d love to be a resource for you in this time, however that looks.
I mean that. Alright … to business.
IRS Deadline Extended??
This has been the cause of a bunch of confusion, so let me make this very clear: The IRS did NOT extend the filing deadline for your tax return.
I repeat, the FILING deadline is not extended. At least not yet. That may yet still change. (I predict it will, but these are unprecedented times.)
The payment deadline is extended, however, to July 15th. Here’s the pertinent info, from the source (as I predicted they would, earlier this week).
In some ways, this is quibbling over semantics, because if you don’t file, you’ll still be able to claim relief after the fact to get penalties and interest waived. But do you really want to go through that hassle?
This is a big reason why (if you haven’t already), you should still let us help you, and as soon as possible. We can file an extension on your behalf with a (veritable) snap of our fingers — rather than you filling out the paperwork, etc. to do that yourself — because of advantages we have as a professional tax office, and our software and access, etc.
And further, you WANT to have a pro in your corner to not only ensure that you are getting all of the deductions you are entitled to from the existing tax code … but one who will also help you navigate the still-to-come credits, deductions and relief that this COVID-19 pandemic will necessarily usher in.
So again, to sum up:
1) The federal PAYMENT deadline has been extended to July 15th. (Most states are following suit — but that is usually a legislative process for the states, not usually done with the stroke of a pen, and clarity might not come right away. I’ll keep you posted.)
2) The FILING deadline is still April 15th. (We’ll help you file an extension if necessary.)
3) We’re in your corner, even more now than before (if that’s possible).
Aurelia E Weems, CPA
PS — I meant what I said above. Email me through the email button at the top of the page to let me know if there is something we can do to help you.
PPS — Allow me to also reiterate what I said previously about your financial mindset in this season:
1) There is no benefit to marinating in others’ panic.
2) DO ensure that you and your family are financially and logistically prepared for what is to come.
3) Consider refinancing your home, if you carry a mortgage. Mortgage rates are up and down and up and down — you might consider filling out a refi application, just to be ready when the rates inevitably pop real low.
4) Make sure you have some ready, liquid assets (i.e., cash in the bank, and in hand) if you are able.
5) Set aside plans for any big spending until the dust settles — but especially look out for your Woodlands small business owner friends and vendors.
More to come in the days ahead. You’ll be hearing from me more.