As I sit to write this the calendar shows a May date, nearly two week removed from the end of tax filing season. It was a tough year that seemed back-loaded with work in late March through the deadline. But now that my head is clearer and my body is a bit more rested here are a few takeaways from the filing season:
- 2018 will be a drastically different tax landscape for almost every taxpayer. It will be critical to understand the impending changes before the end of the year and how they will impact you and your business.
- Even with planning beforehand, I expect next filing season to be crazy. Many specifics of the new law haven’t yet been clarified and may not be until mid to late summer.
- I expect continued efforts by scammers to find ways to game the system by stealing tax identities. We work diligently to make sure this doesn’t happen but realize it will be difficult to completely reign in. We will continue to advise our clients of ways to reduce their risk of being scammed.
From a business perspective, next tax season is likely to be the most challenging we’ve faced in my 25 years in the business. The changes to the tax landscape are sweeping and will impact different taxpayers in different ways. My guess is that most clients will be pleased with reduced federal tax burdens but undoubtedly some will see higher federal taxes. How you will be impacted is simply dependent on the entirety of your tax picture. In response, here a few changes we will be implementing to continue delivering the high level of service clients expect:
- We will expand our capacity to deliver service by hiring additional staff.
- We will continue to leverage technology in smart and unique ways for everything from data collection to service delivery.
- We will reach out to clients more frequently so that as many surprises as possible can be avoided.
Unfortunately, the increased work required is likely to lead to higher fees from us. We are confident that our fees are fair and reasonable as compared to our competitors. However, the volume of disclosures, forms and schedules for both Federal and State returns has exploded over the last 5-10 years. Throw in the new tax law and all of the increased work that will come from it and it seems obvious that we will need to revisit our fee structures. We will do that over the summer and fall and will provide guidance on new fees when we are better equipped to do so. We want to give all clients ample opportunity to make a decision with all relevant information.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions about the impact of the new tax law.