It may be coming a little later than usual, but tax season is coming.
The official start of the season arrives on February 12. That is the date when the IRS will begin to accept and process returns. The agency usually starts doing that in January, but it says that it needed to account for changes resulting from the passage of the latest relief bill, signed into law by President Trump on December 27.
First, a bit of warning that even though the tax filing season is beginning later than usual, the deadline remains the same. Of course, this is subject to change, as everything has been over the past year, but you should plan on April 15 reclaiming its mystical calendar status this year.
So next, this also means that you should not procrastinate getting ready for this tax season. This can be as simple as keeping a folder of all the forms you receive. We have had enough surprises over the past year that I implore everyone to stay on top of their prep so that they are not pressured on the deadline and find some bad surprises with no time to sufficiently deal with them.
In a year of surprises, there are bound to be some new ones come tax filing time. For some, these are going to be unpleasant surprises. More people received unemployment compensation than usual in the last year, so it stands to reason that more people than usual are going to find out that that money is taxable income, and that they may not have had enough withheld to cover their obligation.
There are also bound to be some good surprises, though. After all, even that unemployment compensation was augmented by the federal government for a portion of the year in the hopes of helping people. There have been other moves to help that you may not have been aware of that you could find about come tax time.
Either way, having more time will help both of these situations. If you owe more money than expected, that time could help you pull the funds together. If you are going to benefit from some tax changes that you are unaware of, more time helps you pull together any potential documentation you may need to reap that benefit. So even if the IRS needs some more time before it begins to start accepting tax returns, you only need as much time as it takes to get your documentation to start preparing your return (and for many, those final documents will be available in the next week or two).
Don’t hesitate to contact us and make an appointment when you’re ready then – time is on your side!
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