As the end of the year approaches, it’s time for CPAs, tax professionals, and enrolled agents to gear up and prepare for tax season, which is just around the corner. Staying ahead of the curve and ensuring a smooth, efficient process for clients is essential for every tax expert. In this comprehensive article, we’ll guide you through the steps to effectively prepare for tax season, from organizing your workload to understanding the latest tax law updates. With our expert tips and best practices, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the challenges of the upcoming tax season and provide top-notch service to your clients, making this tax season a resounding success.
It’s right around the corner! Whether you’re ready for it or not, tax season opens January 23rd for individual returns. How many tax returns does the IRS expect to be filed? Try more than 153 million!
There’s good news for taxpayers who need a little extra time to prepare. Because the Emancipation Day holiday will be observed on Monday, April 17th, the filing deadline will be pushed to April 18th. Tax preparers will also benefit by the income from an additional 72 hours of service.
As you meet with clients, keep in mind there are important changes for the 2017 tax season. They involve both refunds and tax law changes. Encourage your clients to plan ahead. Remind them that they don’t have to wait until January 23rd to file. You may also want to be sure they are aware of a new law that requires the IRS to hold refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until Feb. 15.
The IRS expects more than 70 percent of taxpayers to receive refunds after the 2017 tax season. Four out of five refunds will be issued by direct deposit (by client choice). Be sure to inform your clients that choosing to file electronically and to receive a refund via direct deposit is the fastest and safest way to file an income tax return and receive a refund.
Wait—more good news? On January 5th, the IRS reported they anticipate issuing more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days from the time returns are received.
In an effort to address ongoing tax-related identity theft and refund fraud, the IRS will continue to work with the tax industry. In 2016, they made significant progress against the issuance of fraudulent returns. The IRS says this will not slow the issuance of legitimate refunds and will release them as quickly as possible this year.
Whatever they’re doing seems to be working. The IRS claims efforts have led to a 50 percent decline in the number of new reports of stolen identities on federal tax returns. Once again this year special features are expected to help ensure the authenticity of the taxpayer and their tax return.
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