COVID-19 has caused panic both at home and around the world. Despite this, here at Terranova & Associates, we’ve still got your best financial interest in mind, especially during tax season. So, if you’re wondering how an outbreak could affect your tax filing situation, we’re providing answers to some of our most frequently asked questions below.
How Can I Be Prepared?
You’ve heard the news reports: don’t wear a mask unless you’re sick, wash your hands (soap works as well as sanitizer!), don’t touch your face… but readying yourself financially for an outbreak in your area might not have crossed your mind. The best thing you can do tax-wise to prepare is to file your taxes as early as possible. If your tax documents are submitted, it’s one less thing you need to worry about if there’s an outbreak in your area, or if you or a loved one becomes ill. We don’t know exactly how an outbreak in DC would affect the IRS, but government shutdowns in the past have greatly slowed the IRS’ ability to respond to questions and answer phone calls. You can avoid this potential mess by simply submitting your taxes a little earlier this year, and our CPAs can help you achieve this goal as swiftly as possible.
Will the IRS Extend the Filing Deadline?
There’s no way to say for sure, but the IRS has extended the deadline beyond April 15 in the past for certain circumstances, including natural disasters. If outbreaks in the US continue, it’s reasonable to think they there may be an extension—but don’t count on it. If all the stress is making you crazy, this might be the year to outsource doing your taxes to a professional.
Will Refunds Be Delayed?
As of now, refunds are not delayed. This could change in the future if an outbreak affects IRS employees’ ability to work, so we all need to stay tuned. Your refund is less likely to be delayed if you e-file, since the IRS uses mostly automated software to handle e-files. Terranova & Associates is using secure signature software to make e-filing and online communication with our clients as easy as possible.
What If I’m Under Self-Quarantine?
If you are unable to leave your home, due to self-quarantine or any other reason, a meeting with your regular tax adviser can’t happen. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re on your own. At Terranova & Associates, we’ve enabled secure file uploads so that you don’t have to physically visit the office for us to do your taxes. Just send us your documents, and we’ll take care of your tax filing for you. We’ll communicate with you every step of the way to ensure your filings are complete and accurate.
What If Can’t File by April 15?
If, for whatever reason, you truly cannot file by April 15, you just need to submit a request for an extension. Make sure you get this in by April 15! You don’t need to have been affected by the coronavirus to apply: anyone can ask for an extension, but they aren’t guaranteed.