2015 Tax Filing to be the Worst

According to the AIPB the 2015 tax filing to be the worst.

The IRS Commissioner and the National Taxpayer Advocate both expect one of the worst tax filing seasons ever, due to budget cuts, the first tax filings under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the delay in restoring expired and expiring tax provisions.  This filing season, the IRS says, may be as bad as 1985, when bags of tax returns were found stuffed in dumpsters and elsewhere.

The IRS expects problems exchanging data with health insurance exchanges to verify that insurance was purchased and premiums paid by those claiming tax credits under the ACA.  This could delay processing returns.

The IRS, with increased obligations but a reduced budget, anticipates that only 53% of calls will be answered, due to reduced hiring of people to answer calls.  It has also narrowed the kinds of questions it will answer and has eliminated tax preparation at its walk-in centers.

Bookkeepers and preparers should communicate early and frequently with clients; a "2014 Filing Helpful Hints" might be particularly helpful this year.  Be prepared for the following:

  • A delay in the opening of this years tax filing season until at least Jan. 15, disappointing those who wanted to file early and get refunds promptly.
  • Little assistance from the IRS to answer questions to solve problems.  The IRS says to use its website and other automation to deal with issues.
  • More clients are likely to become frustrated with the IRS and have their returns done by pros, so plan for added business; individuals and firms that use preparers should expect delays, have their data ready and schedules prepared early.
  • This could be the year to file for an extension, but make sure that taxes are paid by the initial filing deadline.  Then let the dust settle and have your return prepared and filed under the regular tax season.

 

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