Tax Season Special on FEDtalk
Last week on FEDtalk, experts from the tax community joined hosts Tony Vergnetti and Natalia Castro to discuss how this year’s tax season is moving along. Along for the ride were Tom Burger, Executive Director of the Professional Managers Association, and Edward Karl, Vice President of Taxation at the American Institute of CPAs. The show discussed ways both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the American people can have the smoothest filing season possible.
Burger, speaking independently and not affiliated with the IRS, noted how the partial government shutdown resulted in a slower start to filing season, particularly in terms of training employees before the season began.
As the IRS works to recover from the shutdown, CPAs are also grappling with understanding the new tax law.
Karl continued, “2018 was the first year of implementing a vast majority of the changes of [the 2017] tax reform act and now the filing season we are in right now is the first filing season of trying to deal with all those changes. Understanding the rules is a problem. A lot of the guidance is coming out late. IRS put out all the work they possibly could throughout 2018, but there were so many changes, there were a number of areas that required quite a bit of guidance, there were areas that were brand new, and people needed to understand how they would work.”
With all these changes and delays, the question of extending the filing deadline also arose.
The guests summarized this as “typical” Washington, where politicians introduce well intentioned policy with little awareness of the actual consequences. With most state returns and fines still being due on the traditional tax day, this plan has the potential to spark confusion.
Burger noted, “Within the IRS… there would be people on both sides of the fence. Whether they are inside or outside, practitioner or taxpayer… you get an extension to file the return but you must do a calculation to pay the IRS what you think the tax is going to be and without that you’re going to be doing double work.”
Extending the deadline will also delay audits.
On air, Burger and Karl also discussed hot button issues within the IRS such as cryptocurrency filing, agency funding, and phone scams.
To listen to the full show, click here.
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