It can’t be stressed enough: tax season is a big deal for your accountant. At Bourke Accounting, we’re busy all year ‘round, but tax season? Tax season is the Big Show, Senior Prom and a heavyweight fight in Vegas all rolled into one. We start preparing for our time to shine way before you even receive your W2s; we send out reminders, buy office supplies and temporarily say “farewell” to our families and friends. Do we dig the busy time? We keep coming back, so we either love the excitement or we’ve lost the directions to the front door. Either way, your Bourke Accounting pros are gearing up from another numerological-fueled adrenaline rush.
Last tax season was confusing. Sadly, extended filing deadlines, delayed tax refunds, stimulus payment issues and noticeably MIA IRS clerks didn’t really foster much confidence during already turbulent times. However, this tax season is going to be smoother than the North Atlantic during the Titanic’s maiden voyage. We can feel it.
Just as Bourke Accounting natives are in the midst of preparations, you, gentle taxpayer, must do some legwork, too. As with normal years, you will need to collect your W2s, your interest statements, deductions (if you itemize), Social Security statements…basically just dump everything finance-related into a big bag and call it good. Keeping up with the chaos, however, you might just find that you have a few new and interesting documents to include in that Kroger bag this year.
Since virus precautions shut down many businesses, a lot of people found themselves furloughed or unemployed this year. All of a sudden, people used to consistently filing returns with only one W2 now have multiple forms to contend with. While this might seem a little self-explanatory, it’s important that you bring all of your W2s to your Bourke expert. Even if you only worked for a few months at a particular job, that W2 is still very important – the IRS already knows what you made and they don’t like asking for clarification regarding missing information. While it’s not a big deal if, after you file, you remember that you worked somewhere else for a few months, it’s an extra step. Remember that it’s always easier to file right the first time than it is to file an amended return.
Speaking of unemployment, if you received benefits after losing your job this year, you can expect to receive Form 1099-G by January 31st. Although your Bourke expert trusts you implicitly, it’s not enough to simply give a ballpark estimate of the compensation you received. Also, if you’re in a state that taxes unemployment, this form lets everyone know how much you paid. If you received unemployment and didn’t ask the agency to withhold 10% to cover your federal taxes (CNBC.com), just bringing your form will be enough to remind you that you very well might owe money this year. It’s a good idea to request withholding when you sign up for unemployment, but if you forget, you can fill out a Voluntary Withholding Request (Form W-4V) at any time to avoid being the recipient of an unhappy surprise at tax time.
Another exciting IRS form you might receive this year is Form 1099-INT, Interest Income. Because of the extended deadline, about 13.9 million taxpayers will get “a check averaging $18 on the interest on their refunds” (AARP.org). Last year, if you filed your return after April 15 but by July 15, you most likely received an interest payment from the IRS. While your $18 won’t even cover dinner and drinks, remember that any interest over $10 has to be reported (IRS.gov). Since the IRS sent you that cash, they’ll consider it a nice “thank you” gesture if you would be so good as to report it this year.
This tax season will be mellow. Everything will work just the way it was designed to work. There will be no bombshells to disrupt our mellow tax season. If we say this often enough, our dream can be reality. After all, positive thinking is the first step to a positive outcome!
If positive thinking doesn’t work, you still don’t have anything to worry about. No matter what the world or the IRS throws at your Bourke Accounting pros, they will lead you to financially safe shores. When you trust Bourke Accounting experts with your return, you can rest easy knowing that they are aware of what changes are transpiring and exactly how to address each one. Don’t forget to wish the accountants in your life a Happy Tax Season!
Written by Sue H.