These are incredibly trying times for all of us. A month ago, the term “social distancing” meant nothing to me. I’m not sure I had ever even heard it before. Now it is a term used daily by us all. This virus has wreaked havoc on how we live our lives and the way we interact with one another and society. I have never seen anything like it in my lifetime, and not sure I ever will.

So here we are in the middle of March. This is a time where Woods Financial Services is always busy, humming along and getting out tax returns targeting the April 15 due date. Until a week ago, that was the case again this year…and then all of this happened. I want to make you aware of a few changes this year in response to this changing world. This is all very fluid, so we are adjusting daily as most others are as well.

Tax Filing

As you may have heard the IRS has extended the due date for PAYING any tax due for 2019, for most taxpayers, until July 15, 2020. What does this mean? Simply put, it means that if you have a tax balance due with your 2019 return, that balance due can be paid by July 15, 2020, and any interest or penalties that would normally be assessed will be waived. What does this not mean? TAX RETURNS ARE STILL DUE BY APRIL 15, 2020 (at least as of right now). That means we must either file your return by that date or file for an extension. But as stated above, if there is a tax payment due, that payment is not required until July 15.

This is an IRS change ONLY. States are independent of the IRS and their rules may differ. However, Maryland has agreed to essentially “piggyback” on whatever the final IRS pronouncement is. My expectation is that other states will follow suit.

Working With Us

We are also changing some policies. As of now, we are no longer scheduling any appointments in the office. This will likely be for the remainder of the tax filing season. So, the options are to upload your documents to us through our secure portal, mail us your information or drop it off. A few clients have even asked us to put a box outside our door that information can be placed in, so we will do that. We also have a mail slot where documents can be pushed through. Once we receive the documents, a call will be scheduled 5-7 days out, as required, to clarify any issues or discuss any items you wish to discuss.

Secondly, if tax/financial questions can be emailed to us rather than phone calls please consider that as an option. We will reply to emails within 24 hours.

I wish we didn’t have to resort to this approach but I think it is best for our clients, employees and Emily and me if we err on the side of caution.  We will get through this filing season and get as many returns prepared as possible. I do expect to put more returns than normal on extension this year, so the earlier you can get us your information, the better. As always, return information received after March 31 will have an increased likelihood of being placed on extension.

Thank you for your understanding during this crazy time. Our goal is to help clients deal with their tax filing requirement so it is one less thing to concern themselves with. Stay healthy and talk to you soon.