By: Jason Schneider, CPA
It's been stated by many different organizations, including the IRS, that 2015 could be the worst filing season in 30 years. Some of the major obstacles facing this filing season include:
- The IRS budget being slashed which will mean fewer employees will be available to help resolve issues
- The added administration required for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
- The Tax Extenders Bill that was approved just before the close of the calendar year
Along with several other smaller issues, the IRS is predicting a late January to early February start to the filing season. With a late start and multiple additions in the tax code this year, there seems to be a perfect storm of obstacles brewing and conspiring against a smooth tax filing season.
Because of the struggles that are expected, it's more important now than ever before to plan on having your information ready for your CPA as early as possible. While the IRS predicts a late start to the tax season, they will not move the deadline back from April 15th, which means there is a smaller window of time in which to get tax returns filed timely. In fact, with the late passing of the Tax Extenders Bill, the IRS had to re-draw the income tax forms that had been previously created under the assumption that the Bush era tax provisions would expire at the end of 2014. The re-writing of these forms is contributing to the late start to the filing season, and in our experience, when the filing window is shortened, the time it takes the IRS to process refunds increases. With that being said, the earlier your CPA can get you filed, the sooner you may have access to your refund.
In addition to quicker processing of your return, by getting your information to your preparer sooner, you give them the time they need to wade through your tax situation and lessen the chance that something would be missed. The ACA and FATCA requirements have thrown a whole new level of complexity into the tax code and it makes sense to give your preparer all the time they need to ensure that you are in full compliance and that you are able to take advantage of any tax credits or deductions that are available to you. Your CPA specializes in knowing the tax implications of these laws and when given ample time can work to make sure you are put into the best tax position possible.
Based on a study done by the National Taxpayer Advocate's Office, the IRS was only able to answer 67% of the phone calls made by taxpayers to the agency. With this level of responsiveness (or lack thereof) it is critical to have someone knowledgeable that you trust helping you with your income taxes. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this shortened filing season, please give me a call at 760-777-9805; I'd be happy to sit down and help guide you through it.
Contact Jason A. Schneider, CPA at 760-777-9805 for more information on our services.