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January 27, 2020

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Tax season isn’t what it used to be

The tax season has extended beyond the rush at spring to get returns filed by April 15. Key reasons include:

  • Extensions. Due to tax reform and difficulty understanding the new rules, a number of taxpayers requested extensions. This resulted in a drawn-out busy season for tax preparation professionals and taxpayers who file their own returns.
  • Quarterly payments. The United States tax system is a pay-as-you-go system. As a result, the IRS expects taxpayers to make payments throughout the year. Workers will note employers likely held their payments from their paychecks on a regular basis. However, business owners and the self-employed may need to make quarterly payments to meet this obligation. This generally results in estimated payments due April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15.

Although both of these issues were present in past years, they seem to have been a bigger issue for the 2018 tax filing year and are predicted to present the same issues this year. The surge in problems was, as noted above, mainly because of the tax reform that went into effect on last year’s filings.

This confusion may have led to mistakes on tax returns, mistakes that may have caught the eye of the IRS. Taxpayers that receive notification of a federal tax audit are wise to take the correspondence seriously. The right course of action will be different for each taxpayer depending on the details of the situation. An attorney experienced in tax audits can review the notification and discuss your options.

Audits