Expect Massive Delays in Processing Your Tax Return This Year

Every year, the IRS seems to get just a little farther behind in getting tax refunds back to people. Throw in the processing of Economic Impact Payments and you’ve got yourself a royal mess. In January, the Treasury Department warned taxpayers to expect massive delays in processing of your tax returns this year. That’s just great, right? But…relax! Below we offer some tips on how to get your cash back as soon as possible.

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You can probably expect massive delays in processing your tax return this year.
File ASAP

The early bird gets the refund faster. If you put your return in the queue earlier, there will be fewer returns ahead of yours to process. Keep your files organized and ready to go. If you haven’t gotten organized yet, make it a priority. The IRS is still saying they’ll strive to process refunds within 21 days of receipt. And that theoretically can happen for you if you file your return early and don’t raise any red flags.

File Electronically

To expedite your tax refund process, move away from paper submission. Filing paper returns requires time-intensive, manual processing. To ensure a smoother process, file electronically with direct deposit to avoid delays in process, receiving refunds, or notices from the IRS. More than 90% of 160 million people who file taxes submit their returns electronically. You can also check the status of your refund on the IRS’s Where’s My Refund? page.

Have Documentation for Everything

Whether you file a simple W-2 each year or a complicated small business owner return, have documentation for everything. Have your documentation saved electronically for easy access should you be asked to provide proof of anything in your submission. Any questionable numbers will increase your odds of an audit. Make sure the numbers match on the forms before you submit your return. Anything you’re unsure about leads into our next recommendation…

Don’t Guess, Ask an Expert

Even if you think you have a simple preparation process, rules change all the time. If you can’t easily locate an answer to your question, don’t just guess at what to do. Take the time to ask an expert. Even the big online processing companies have an option to connect with a CPA. The small fee for a consultation could end up saving you thousands in the long run. If you have an especially complex situation, your best bet is to enlist the help of an experienced tax attorney.

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Exercise Patience

Fun fact: the IRS has been running with the same number of staff since the 1970s, despite the American population increasing by 60% since then. Nearly 75% of American taxpayers expect a refund each year, so you’re not alone. Many people count on their tax return to fund vacations or use it pay down debt. However, depending on those refund checks coming in by a certain time can backfire on you. As of December 31, 2021, six million people were still waiting for the IRS to process their 2020 returns. As frustrating as this delay is, there’s nothing you can do. ​

In conclusion, we hope this blog, Expect Massive Delays in Processing Your Tax Return This Year helps with your tax preparation plans. Need help getting your taxes ready or have a question? Our experienced tax professionals can help you minimize any taxes you owe and ensure you comply with all applicable laws. Complete our online form or call us today at 724-216-5180 to learn more.

Seven Tax Considerations for New Businesses

Seven tax considerations for new businesses is our blog topic this month. Did you start a business in 2021? As we enter tax season, we see a lot of new owners make several common mistakes. Here’s seven tax considerations for new businesses to keep you out of hot water with the IRS.

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Newer business owners need to know small business taxes.
1. Yes, You Have to File Taxes.

Above all, you’ll need to understand how rules changes if you’re new to running a business. As an individual, you only need to file taxes if your gross income exceeds $12,550. That number drops to a net income of $400 as a business owner. You also have to carefully monitor all your income and expenses, much more than as an employee.

2. And Yes, You May Have to Pay Quarterly Estimated Taxes.

When you work for someone else, they take takes out of your paycheck on your behalf. So, when you work for yourself, the IRS expects you to estimate your taxes and submit them quarterly. Failing to do so sets you up for underpayment penalties.

3. Claim Start Up Costs.

Even if you run your business from your kitchen table, it cost money to get set up. You can deduct anything you needed to pay to get up and running, including research and training (Subject to a $5K Limitation ). You can claim everything from marketing, website creation, office furniture and supplies, vehicle costs, and more.

4. The IRS Sees You As ‘Fresh Meat.’

Unfortunately, having your own business raises all sorts of interest from the IRS. Getting audited isn’t the end of the world, IF you’ve carefully followed directions on expenses and deductions with receipts. Keeping up with all the changes year to year can get overwhelming. And if you make a mistake, it can get expensive really quick.

5. Don’t Mix Business and Personal Finances.

If you’ve just started out, you may not have thought about having a separate business checking account yet. But this is one of the first things you should do as a new business owner. Even if you barely edge over that $400 net income line, have a separate account for business income and expenses. This makes things easier to separate for filing purposes and cleaner during any audits.

6. Self-Employed? Don’t Expect a Refund.

Most employees look forward to late spring every year when they receive a windfall as part of their tax return. We’ll leave for another conversation as to why you should minimize tax refunds that basically serve as free loans for the government. Most small businesses serve as a pass-through entity for the owner’s income. Owners pay taxes on that income as part of their individual taxes without any withholdings to absorb the additional taxes. ​

7. Learn from this Return.

Even with a tax specialist helping you, expect a few lessons on how to improve next year. Look closely at your return. Go over it with a tax expert and make sure you understand any penalties or additional deductions for next year. We like to say it’s not rocket science. But, when you’re just starting out, it can really feel like it!

Did you start a business in 2021? If you feel unsure on what to organize or how to get started, relax! We hope that our Seven Tax Considerations for New Businesses blog helped a little.

Still confused? Our, our experienced tax professionals can help you minimize any taxes you owe and ensure you comply with all applicable laws. Complete our online form or call us today at 724-216-5180 to learn more.

7. Learn from this Return Even with a tax specialist helping you, expect a few lessons on how to improve next year. Look closely at your return. Go over it with a tax expert and make sure you understand any penalties or additional deductions for next year. We like to say it’s not rocket science, but when you’re just starting out, it can really feel like it! Did you start a business in 2021 ? If you feel unsure on what to organize or how to get started, relax! O ur experienced tax professionals can help you minimize any taxes you owe and ensure you comply with all applicable laws. Complete our online form or call us today at 724-216-5180 to learn more.

Prepare for the Inevitable Upcoming Tax Season

Every year right between Christmas and New Year’s people start dreading tax season. That shoe box or receipt drawer may not close all the way anymore. Maybe you just found the statement for quarterly tax estimates (from June) in another pile of papers. Likewise, maybe your resolution list from January 2021 just resurfaced that included “stay on top of taxes” on the list. You already know that when you prepare for the inevitable upcoming tax season, it will suck so much less. So, let’s get started!

Prepare for the Inevitable Upcoming Tax Season. Image of red and white John A. Cochran, Esq letter head with money in background.
Get Out Ahead of Crunch Time

Rather than pouring yourself another cup of cheer and making tax preparations next year’s problem, face it head on. You can pour that cup of cheer if you’d like. However, digging in now will make Future You so much less stressed come tax time.

Picture yourself the evening of April 14, 2022, what do you see yourself doing? Do you see yourself furiously adding up totals? Trying to find random tax documentations? Or would you rather have plans to join your buddies for a well-deserved thirsty Thursday at the local watering hole?

Get Organized

Most tax experts will say it matters less how you organize your paperwork but more that you actually do it. So long as you have materials in order so that you can produce documentation requested for tax purposes, you’re good. You will save money in preparation fees.

If you don’t currently have a system or experience exasperated looks from your tax professional each year, ask yourself why. Perhaps your current system or lack thereof could use a tune up? Rely on the advice of experts on how to create or improve on your current techniques. You’ll make everyone’s lives easier.

Check Your Information

Double check that all your information on file with the IRS is correct, including direct deposit information for refunds. Even something as simple as an address change can get forgotten during a busy year.

Closely examine everything from dependent information to retirement and investment accounts to income streams. This year remember to check Economic Impact Payments and Child Tax Credit Updates, too, if applicable. Spotting differences now can avoid potential problems after filing.

Ask Questions and Get Clarifications Early

Do some early research to see if you need to file differently or can add new deductions. Whether you work with an accountant or use a self-service tax filing tool, ask follow-up questions from the experts.

Get clarification on changes in tax deductions early in the season so you have time to do something about them. Finding out about a new deduction does no good if you didn’t save the proof necessary to claim it.

Nervous about this upcoming tax season? How will you prepare for the inevitable upcoming tax season? Relax! Our experienced tax professionals can help you minimize any taxes you owe and ensure you comply with all applicable laws. We help our clients avoid legal issues with their taxes while providing peace of mind. Complete our online form or call us today at 724-216-5180 to learn more.

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