Last minute tips to help your clients make the tax filing extension deadline

Tax Law and News tax reform

Fall is in the air, as is another important tax deadline!

We’re fast approaching the Oct. 15 tax filing extension deadline, and we know many tax and accounting pros will be busy helping their clients prepare to file their returns. If you haven’t already sent a reminder to your clients about the upcoming deadline, it’s a good idea to send them an email or schedule a web meeting to fill them in on any documents they need to provide to you, as well as remind them of any other tasks they should complete that will help you file their tax return on time.

In order to help you deliver more value to your clients and prevent a scramble in the last few days before the deadline, we’ve pulled together some tips to ensure you can easily and accurately file their taxes by the tax extension deadline:

  • Gather documents in one place. This includes W-2s, 1099s, receipts for expenses, and mortgage interest. For a full list of documents, check out our comprehensive checklist with details on important documents and information.
  • Double-check important information. According to the IRS, one of the top mistakes taxpayers make when rushing to meet the tax deadline is gathering incorrect Social Security numbers for their children and spouses. Remind your clients to confirm they have the correct information to ensure they receive eligible tax deductions and credits.
  • Gather information for dependent tax benefits. Dependents can be worth valuable tax deductions and credits. Clients should gather receipts related to dependents, including daycare and even summer camp expenses for child dependents, in order to potentially claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit or Other Dependent Credit.
  • Note any charitable contributions made throughout the year. Collect any receipts or proof of charitable contributions made throughout the year that may qualify your client for deductions.
  • Remind clients they should file even if they owe. If your clients filed a tax extension and want to e-file their taxes by the Oct. 15 tax deadline, they will avoid a failure-to-file penalty of 5 percent per month of the unpaid tax liability. Even if they owe money, they can ask the IRS for an installment agreement that will allow them to pay their tax debt over six years.

Unfortunately, there have been many natural disasters this year. If your client was a victim of a federally declared natural disaster, remind them that the IRS offers relief in many cases, whether in the form of extensions to pay or file their taxes. The IRS also recently announced further extended tax deadlines for victims of the California wildfires, Oregon wildfires, Hurricane Laura, and Hurricane Sally.

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