Sunday, March 15, 2020

Coronavius COVID-19 and Getting Your Taxes Done

So how do you get your taxes done if you are self-quarantined?
Is it safe to go to an office for tax preparation?

I don't really know the answer to the second question, but the first one is easy.

First, don't panic. If you are getting a refund, the IRS doesn't care if you are late. If you owe money, there's a good chance that relief from penalties will be in the offing.

But if you really need them have options.

At home software (which I hate) is obviously unaffected by quarantining. If your taxes are simple, you have a good understanding of taxes, and you are willing to download appropriate manuals and instructions, then you can probably do a passable job. I do mean DOWNLOAD THE TAX FORM INSTRUCTIONS! Complete reliance on software is a TERRIBLE idea.

But what if you need a professional?
First thing, give yours a call and see what they can do. Many professionals have remote systems established for online exchange of forms and approvals. Those that don't can probably set something up. At the very least they can keep you updated on what the rules are and advise about extensions.

H&R Block has a completely established remote preparation system, though most of their tax professionals will have never used it. Give yours an email and ask if it is available for you.

Last resort...I do hundreds of remote tax returns.
Email me at for advice and instructions on remote tax preparation. I'm pretty busy, but I'm making time to help affected people. Most remote tax preparation can be done in 48 hours. Less if you are responding to my emails quickly. That said, there's no way of knowing how the virus is going to shift demand, but I'll always keep you informed.

Everything is going to be fine.

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