Effective tonight, Thursday March 19, the Gov. of California has ordered all persons to self-isolate and shelter in place. This keeps the staff of All About Numbers from being able to come to work. We are closed until further notice. We will be rescheduling appointments as details about the order become more available.
How long will this last? We do not know - watch the news for updates.
Are tax professionals "essential" workers"? We have heard conflicting information. As we figure this out, we will update you. We do know we have staff who regularly come in contact with high risk individuals, and some of our staff meet the criteria to be considered high risk. We do not want to risk giving it to each other through our office, as we believe it is very likely some or all of us have come into contact with carriers through our clients or other social interactions. We need to protect you, and we need to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Can you do taxes remotely? Yes, and no. We work with highly sensitive information. We do not know how secure your information is at various locations outside our office. As we test individual employee systems, we may be able to begin limited remote appointments. Not all of our staff have access to the resources needed to be able to conduct business from home. We are also concerned about your documents. As not all staff have multiple monitor systems at home (or even computers at home) being "paperless" is a challenge. Having paper at homes with your sensitive information is just a risk we are not comfortable taking. Again, as we figure out a way to make things work, we will update you.
What about the filing deadline? As of this moment, which is subject to rapid change, the federal government HAS NOT extended the filing deadline. Extensions are automatically awarded upon request. We are requesting extensions FOR OUR ENTIRE database of clients for whom we do not have a completed return. We will be able to monitor extension activity remotely. With this said, it is quite possible the IRS will also extend the filing deadline, which will allow for continued funding of IRA and HSA returns. We will keep you posted about this as well. California has an automatic, no request required, extension system.
What about penalties and interest? The IRS has stated all payments for taxes due April 15 will be interest and penalty free for amounts up to $1Million dollars for individuals, and up to $10Million for Corporations. This applies to income taxes for 2019 and estimated tax payments for 2020. As we learn more, we will update you.
My taxes are almost done...can't you still get them filed? Those of you who fit this criteria will be our first priority. As we are allowed to return to work, figure out remote work, or figure out working in shifts, we will be tackling your returns first. You will hear from us on a on-on-one basis as we specifically figure out how to help you.
I have a refund coming, and I need it NOW! How can you help me? We are working on figuring out a way to prioritize refund clients to be first in line to work through processing. We are working out a system to be able to have a limited staff do returns without public contact, get signatures on required forms, and facilitate payments. If we have your documents, you are going to be handled first!
I use you for bookkeeping, payroll and other services as well. How will I get those needs met? Our payroll system is the most important of these. Fortunately, we already have remote access systems in place for this service. The challenge will be coordinating pickup/drop off of paychecks. Nicole, the payroll manager, will work with each payroll client to make sure you are still able to pay your employees. As for bookkeeping and other services, we will update you as we know more. If you use our portal to send us your documents, keep sending them. If you mail them, keep mailing them, and if you drop them off, our mail slot will be open. We know you need to keep your business operational and will make keeping you in a business a priority. The bookkeeping manager, Keith, will be in contact with each of you as this evolves.
Can I still get you my documents? YES! You can still mail, portal and fax documents to us. We will have someone getting the mail and bringing it into the office and we will still receive faxes and portal documents. In fact, having all your documents in place will give you the best chance of being able to be completed as soon as we figure out HOW to get returns completed.
Our key staff will be the first to return to work. We will be in communication to figure out how to navigate these uncharted waters together. Watch your email, as that is the best way for us to easily communicate to each of you.
We appreciate your understanding in these challenging times!
The All About Numbers Team.