It goes without saying, that 2020 has been a tough year. We do not know (as of today) how 2021 tax season will transpire. For now, the IRS has stated they will not be extending the tax season into July like last year, and the filing deadline will remain as April 15th. As usual, we encourage you to get your documents to us as soon as possible, to relieve the last-minute rush.
Our plan for 2021 is to operate with as little client contact as possible. You can choose several methods to get your documents to us:
– Drop them off at our office, and pick up your folder later
– We have a locked drop-box at our front door for after-hours
– Send them via FAX at (614) 453-8541
– Scan and send them though our online secure encrypted portal. To access the portal, email me a request and I will respond with an invitation/link. Many clients used the portal last year, and were happy with the process.
* Please do NOT send any documents by email. Although we have a secure system in our office, e-mailing sensitive documents is not a safe method to protect and secure your private information.
There may be some instances where a physical meeting is required, but we will only reserve time for brief discussion. We will not be able to prepare your tax forms while you wait this year. The benefit of not setting physical appointments is that we will be able to have much quicker turn-around times for everyone, and it will also free us up to answer phone calls and respond to questions and concerns. (you will not get the “he is with a client” response from Chris!)
Some important issues:
We will need to know how much stimulus money you received. It is not taxable, but we will need to calculate if you received the full amount you were due. If did not get your stimulus, or received a reduced amount, you will get the credit on your 2020 tax return. If you received too much (as if the IRS never made a mistake) you are not required to pay back the excess!
If you received unemployment compensation, the state will send you a 1099-G form to show the amount they paid to you. It is considered taxable income, so hopefully you had taxes withheld from the money you received.
If you qualify for the Earned Income Credit (EIC) I will be asking for some documentation, which can include your child’s birth certificate, social security card, and address verification (school or medical records). Please do not be upset or offended, as this documentation is required by the IRS. I can get fined up to $500 per incidence if I cannot show proof to the IRS that I reviewed your dependent’s information.
If you had the marketplace ACA health insurance (Obamacare), remember to include your 1095-A form with your documents. We need that information to calculate if you received too much or too little of the premium subsidy.
Many of you switched to working remotely from home during the pandemic. For the home office deduction that existed prior to 2018… bad news: the IRS has made no changes. Home office expenses can only be claimed if you are self-employed.
Have a safe and sane new year!
Tim & Chris,