Getting ready for July 15 tax deadline
Getting ready for July 15 tax deadline

How to guide your clients who missed the tax deadline

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury recently announced the individual federal tax filing deadline of July 15 will not be postponed, meaning tax professionals have just a few days left to file their clients’ tax returns.

While taxpayers should avoid missing the filing deadline at all costs, sometimes it happens. If your client does miss the deadline, it’s important to immediately advise them regarding what they need to know about filing an extension, what their new deadlines are, the effects on their refund or tax bill, and how they can avoid missing the deadline next year.

In order to make the process as seamless and efficient as possible, since time is of the essence, we’ve pulled together a quick guide.

Discuss next steps with your client. If your client misses the deadline, the first thing you need to do is have a conversation about filing for an extension, which will give them until Oct. 15 to file their tax return if Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, is filed by July 15. Remember to remind your clients that this is an extension to file the tax return, not an extension to pay taxes that are due.

File as soon as possible. It is crucial to advise clients on how important it is to file as soon as possible to ensure the lowest repercussions from missing the original deadline. In addition, the sooner you’re able to file for your clients, the lower the interest and the penalty; this also ensures the IRS is able to see your clients’ tax deductions as quickly as possible and won’t overcharge your clients’ tax liability.

Create a payment plan. To avoid interest and fines, let your clients know they should pay what they can by July 15. As a result of the economic repercussions of COVID-19, the IRS has a few policies and options in place to help taxpayers who are unable to pay in full.

Set a precedent for next year’s filing. There are a multitude of reasons clients miss the tax deadline each year, but to avoid a repeat of this scenario, be sure to get the filing deadline on your clients’ radars early when checking in with them. Make sure they are aware of any changed deadlines, updates to filing paperwork, and other details, and continue to follow up with them regularly throughout the year to make sure they are on track to share documents with you.

Once you’ve received all of the documents and information you need, Intuit® Lacerte®, ProSeries®, and ProConnect™ Tax can help streamline the filing process and increase your productivity. In addition, be sure to check out Intuit Practice Management, a workflow tool that helps tax pros work more smoothly, from that first client email to e-filing tax returns, by integrating tax software with email communications, task automation, real-time collaboration, and more.

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