Over the years, many tax professionals have seen a shift in how our clients deliver their tax information to us.  Our firm is in it’s 51st year and gone are the days of tax booklets, doing tax returns by hand, and the need to meet with your tax professional in person.  With the rise of the COVID-19 many tax professionals are utilizing services that they already had available or are adding additional options for their clients to deliver and receive tax information.  Some firms are no longer meeting with clients in person, while others are limiting the amount of contact that they will have with their clients.

While the number of clients we have seen has nearly doubled over the last ten years, we have also seen the demand to meet with us in person significantly decline.  We estimate that we meet with between 50-60% of our clients in person either when they deliver their tax information to us or when we deliver the tax information to them.  Part of this is likely due to our clients trusting our tax professionals and clients no longer feeling the need to meet with their tax professional unless there are major changes.  Another part is due to how busy everyone’s lives are and adapting to what our clients prefer by offering them multiple options to get their taxes completed.

If you are looking for a new tax professional, or wondering how to get your information to your current one, we recommend seeing if the following options are available to you:

  • Upload and receive tax information via secure portal on their website.
  • Sign tax forms that are needed through electronic signature software.
  • Mail tax information to your tax professional.
  • Place information in their drop box at their office.

We strongly recommend that you DO NOT email any tax information tax information to your tax professional, due to the confidentiality of information often included in attachments or certain context included an email.  While tax professionals cannot stop you from sending information to them, IRS Guidelines state that tax professionals cannot deliver your tax returns or confidential information to you via email or even digitally based fax systems that utilize a form of email.  These restrictions, along with the development of secure document exchange technology, are a significant reason why document delivery should not occur through email, even if it is encrypted.

While our firm is still doing face-to-face meetings, during this time we are asking clients that don’t feel the need to meet with us to avoid coming into our office if possible.  Our clients have been very receptive to utilizing the digital delivery option if they weren’t already doing so.  Knowing that we can still go over the return with a quick phone conversation has also helped them with this transition.

Lastly, even though you now have 90 more days, the following are factors you need to consider when determining if you should take advantage of the extended time or file your return prior to April 15, 2020:

  • The first two quarterly tax payments if you make estimated tax payments are still due April 15th and June 15th.
  • Potential refund delays if government entities see a reduced labor force.
  • Potential for government expanding required business closers or expanded restrictions.
  • States that you have a filing requirement in may not have the same extended date.

We hope you are staying healthy and can support all the small businesses that are still able to provide their services during the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions that are in place.  These are trying times and all your local businesses will need your continued support during and after this crisis.  If you are looking for a new tax professional, please feel free to contact us at 651.257.2152 or via email at general@lindgrentaxandaccounting.com about how you can get your information to us without having to meet in person.