As you undoubtedly know if you’ve filed extensions, we’re coming down to the very last minute on getting 2018 tax filings completed.
Many sole-proprietor businesses and individuals have settled into a relative routine of filing their taxes during the “second season,” which typically means getting things buttoned-up and submitted by October 15.
This year is no exception.
Of course, for businesses operating as partnerships and corporations, the last deadline (September 15) has already passed. But many solo entrepreneurs, individuals, and families are now well into the “second season.”
This isn’t always a product of procrastination (though it sometimes can be). For some proprietors and individuals, the natural “rhythm” of their fiscal year makes filing in October the more appropriate choice.
If you’re one of those clients who needs to file your 2018 taxes by mid-October, you need to know that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made a number of key changes that will affect your future filings… and, also, a number that will actually impact last year’s taxes.
Get The Tax Accounting Help You Need…
This is not a great year to decide to file your taxes on your own.
Things are different – in many cases, far more complex – than in tax years past.
Are you an attorney, consultant, doctor, financial advisor, or other professional in the service trades? You’ll need help with the myriad complicated changes to what the IRS considers “qualified business income.”
Your rules are quite different from those applied to engineers and architects. And that’s just one example of the nuances in the new tax code with which you might not be familiar… but with which your CPA undoubtedly will be. Or, certainly, should be!
Rules have changed for everything from depreciation to expense reports… and these are not, in many cases, minor changes.
No need to panic… just pick up the phone and call your CPA. But do it soon…
… And Make It Easier For Your CPA To Help You
Everyone probably knows how busy accounting firms are during the first quarter of each calendar year – the “first season” for tax filings (by April 15).
What you might not know is that CPAs are incredibly busy this time of year, too, as the corporate deadline has just caused its flurry of filings… and as the second season for sole proprietorships heats up and the October deadline marches swiftly near.
For some filers, procrastination is the reason they file during the second season… which means these clients, by nature, seem to struggle every year with getting all the necessary information to their accountants.
If you think you might show up with a shoe box full of receipts a couple of days before the deadline, you’ll probably be in for an unpleasant surprise. Your CPA may have no choice but to help you with the “penalty phase” of your tax year, caused by the inevitability of a late filing.
(Some accountants do grumble and scold when presented with desperate clients like this… it’s better to be “forward looking” and simply focus on helping the client get things handled, rather than delivering stern lectures about why things got so backed up. Late clients usually know they’re struggling.)
Whether by procrastination or design, if you’re working with your CPA to file your 2018 taxes now, during the second season, consider what you can do to help your accountant give you the best possible service.
Many CPAs require that you turn in all your information by the end of September, so they have time to get everything done for their heavy load of October-filing clients before the deadline.
Required or not, you’d be wise to make sure you have everything in by September 30.
Give your CPA a fair chance!
It’s best to tell yourself you have hours, not days, to get your accountant everything she needs for a second season tax filing. Your CPA will certainly be grateful… and you’ll thank yourself, too.