A busy year for tax accountants, even with a July 15 filing deadline
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Wednesday is the deadline for individuals and corporations to file their taxes. The IRS extended the deadline because of COVID-19. But those extra three months have kept accountants and financial planners pretty busy.
The extended tax deadline came as a big relief for accountant Lorilyn Wilson.
She said it gave her more bandwidth to concentrate on other issues, like helping clients apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans.
“Being able to tell our business clients, who we also do their taxes for, ‘Hey, look, we’re just going to focus on this PPP stuff, and we’ll worry about your tax stuff in a couple months,'” Wilson said.
And many people have been more concerned with their health or their jobs instead of all the tax paperwork they have to sort out.
“We’ve had to do more handholding, rightfully so, and really help them focus and walk them through what’s needed to be done for the tax return,” said Phil McCollum, tax partner at the accounting firm Henry+Horne.
The tax season is far from over, too. Accountant Brian Streig said he’s spent the last two weeks preparing extensions, which are due on Oct. 15.
“That’s starting to feel a little ominous,” Streig said.
In that time, Streig and other accountants say they’ll have a lot more on their plates — such as helping clients apply for PPP loan forgiveness.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
What does the unemployment picture look like?
It depends on where you live. The national unemployment rate has fallen from nearly 15% in April down to 8.4% percent last month. That number, however, masks some big differences in how states are recovering from the huge job losses resulting from the pandemic. Nevada, Hawaii, California and New York have unemployment rates ranging from 11% to more than 13%. Unemployment rates in Idaho, Nebraska, South Dakota and Vermont have now fallen below 5%.
Will it work to fine people who refuse to wear a mask?
Travelers in the New York City transit system are subject to $50 fines for not wearing masks. It’s one of many jurisdictions imposing financial penalties: It’s $220 in Singapore, $130 in the United Kingdom and a whopping $400 in Glendale, California. And losses loom larger than gains, behavioral scientists say. So that principle suggests that for policymakers trying to nudge people’s public behavior, it may be better to take away than to give.
How are restaurants recovering?
Nearly 100,000 restaurants are closed either permanently or for the long term — nearly 1 in 6, according to a new survey by the National Restaurant Association. Almost 4.5 million jobs still haven’t come back. Some restaurants have been able to get by on innovation, focusing on delivery, selling meal or cocktail kits, dining outside — though that option that will disappear in northern states as temperatures fall. But however you slice it, one analyst said, the United States will end the year with fewer restaurants than it began with. And it’s the larger chains that are more likely to survive.
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