There are so many tax lessons to be learned due to the viral pandemic that it’s rather hard to narrow the list down to the top three. However, we’ll give our best attempt in this article. Before getting to the list though let’s send out a huge thank you to all the tax professionals that have and continue to go above and beyond to help their clients navigate these challenging times. Let’s get to it, shall we?
1. Don’t Believe Everything You Hear and See On the News
I can’t tell you the number of times during the course of this pandemic that FAKE NEWS has been overbearing. When it comes to what the IRS has done, is doing, or will do in the future, everyone has an opinion. From the delivery times for the stimulus checks, the requirements for being able to receive a stimulus check, the extension of time to file and pay federal taxes, and even if IRS tax payments are deferred until a later time. In order to protect yourself from unnecessary anxiety and fear, try to limit your screen time. We often take it for granted that we monitor the screen time for our kids, but the truth is we need to monitor our own screen time as adults too. Also, remember, news is meant to inform rather than to entertain. It’s really hard to tell now days what’s the real focus of news.
2. Get the Facts
These days, you need a healthy level of suspicion to get past all the FAKE NEWS about the IRS and how they’re going to bankrupt us. I’ve been rather encouraged of the work the IRS has done during this pandemic. The way the IRS was able to efficiently deliver millions of stimulus checks to help countless Americans that needed this help was simply amazing. Or, how about the way the IRS without much political stonewalling extended both the filing and payment deadline from April 15th to July 15th. Pretty awesome, right? What’s the single source that has shaped my opinion of the IRS? It’s the IRS, of course. Do you know how to quickly get rid of hearsay and FAKE NEWS? Make the effort, go to the source, and get the facts!!!
3. Find Help When Needed
Yeah, this one right here is the main point on this list. Over the last 10 years, there’s been a push for people to prepare and file their own tax returns. I’ll admit that most of the well-known tax prep software has improved greatly. The add-on service of having available tax pros to help guide you through the preparation and filing of your tax return makes it even better. In my opinion, though, this works for people having simple returns such as those individuals that work one job, don’t save for retirement, rent or own a home, and are single or married with no children or other dependents. However, for those that work more than one job, have a side hustle or part-time business, save for retirement on both their jobs and outside of work (i.e. IRAs), and are single or married with dependents (adult or children), the tax code becomes a little bit more interesting. Let’s also mention that during this pandemic, the IRS actually shut down operations temporarily. What do you do when the source is not available? That’s when you need the help of a trusted tax professional such as a tax advisor or tax consultant. These professionals have worked with the IRS for years and are familiar with the tax prep side in addition to how and why the IRS operates the way it does. When you’re stuck and need help solving a problem you have with the IRS, find a trusted tax advisor or tax consultant and save time, effort, and money.