Hope your holidays were filled with joy and let me wish you a heartfelt healthy and happy new year.
I am ready for another successful Income Tax Season. My Tax Return Software is in and I am anxious to start preparing your tax returns. As in the past, I am available 7 days a week including evenings. Please call for an appointment as soon as you have your paperwork together. You can always just drop off (or email) your information and I will contact you with any open items or questions.
If any of my returning clients would like a checklist to help gather their tax data, please call or send me a quick email and I will email one to you with plenty of time to complete it.
This year I will continue to offer Electronic Filing for your Federal as well as any State Income Tax return(s) you may need prepared. I am on-line with a banking institution which will allow me to print your refund check in my office and hand it over to you. The Paperless Office procedures implemented, are secure and working well. I have upgraded my software and security firewalls and am using encrypted files for emails that are password protected. All data and tax returns are being backed up and stored and copies are available for the past three years at no additional charge. Please remember to bring your Thumb Drives with you so I can update them with your 2016 returns and supporting documents used to prepare your returns.
My preparation fees have always been reasonable and should save you a few dollars over other preparers. Due to economic times and financial strains, I am not instituting across the board fee increases. Any fee increases will be nominal. For you new clients, if you bring in your invoice from your last preparer, I will not increase your fee or, in most cases, I will match it or save you $25.00.
The tax filing season starts Jan. 23, in most cases refunds will be issued within 3 weeks of filing. However, for families claiming the earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit refunds will not not issued before February 15, 2019. These tax breaks are geared to benefit the working poor, and many families claim both.
“For most of these people it’s the biggest check they are going to get all year,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We are sensitive to that.” But a new law requires the IRS to delay tax refunds for people claiming these credits until Feb. 15. Processing times will delay most of the refunds until the end of February, Koskinen said.
The delay is designed to give the agency more time to screen the returns for fraud. The IRS estimates that it issued $3.1 billion in fraudulent tax refunds to identity thieves in 2014. The year before, the agency says, it paid out $5.8 billion in fraudulent refunds. Over those two years, the IRS says it blocked nearly $47 billion in fraudulent refunds.
This year, the IRS expects to process more than 153 million tax returns. More than 70 percent of taxpayers are expected to get refunds. In most cases, the IRS says it can issue refunds within three weeks of receiving a return. So let’s get together as soon as possible to file before everyone else.
Craig R. Bolotsky CPA