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Tax Deadlines Extended

U.S. Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin has announced that individuals and businesses will have until July 15 to file returns, as well as to make payments without interest or penalties. This is a common practice for IRS in disaster situations. Historically it has occurred in specific geographic areas hit by natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados, and floods. This announcement is in recognition of the difficulty taxpayers have in gathering data when physical movement is restricted and third parties are closed or operating at partial capacity.

A majority of American taxpayers use tax professionals to prepare their returns. At JRBT we have been facing the same challenges as the rest of the public. Many of our employees have children who are now out of school or out of day care. Others have family members who have significant health issues that pose serious risks if they are exposed to the virus. We have already been working with reduced capacity up to this point.

Our firm has over 100 people working in close proximity to each other. Our first responsibility is the health and safety of our employees and clients. Based on the most recent pronouncements and advisories by federal, state, and local government officials, we believe that it is prudent for most of our employees to be working from home. We have been preparing for the possibility of remote work for a period of time. Our technology allows us to do that on a secure basis that does not expose client information. We also are discouraging all face-to-face client meetings, but we are available for phone conferences or video conferences.

With the factors that are affecting us right now, our capacity to get tax returns completed has been significantly reduced. This is a key reason for the IRS’ deferral of the due date. We want to let you know that, while we are working diligently on preparing returns, the turnaround time is going to be significantly increased. We anticipate that many returns that would normally be completed prior to April 15 will be completed after that date. We are all fighting this threat together. We hope that our clients understand that the health and safety concerns facing us require us all to change some expectations for this filing season.

If you have any specific questions or concerns about your own situation, please contact your JRBT tax professional.