With job losses and current economic conditions, it’s likely many taxpayers will be filing as soon as possible when the IRS opens on February 12th in order to get their refunds. Here’s what you can do to stay organized and efficient during this early rush.
Read about changes for tax season 2021
To ensure a smooth tax season, make sure you’re familiar with the following changes before clients begin to arrive:
- Any new and updated tax forms
- Changes to tax rates and income brackets
- The new advance Child Tax Credit
- COVID-related topics like the FFCRA leave credit, the Recovery Rebate Credit, and unemployment
- Recent Changes to the Payment Protection Program
Encourage remote meetings
Remote tax filing can save significant time for both you and your clients, and you can better accommodate clients who prefer to remain socially distanced or quarantined. If you have TaxSlayer Pro Web or TaxSlayer Pro Premium, encourage clients to use The Taxes to Go App. They’ll find it easier to share documents, and because the app automatically inputs their data into your tax software, you’ll save time too. Automatic notifications simplify communication, letting your clients know where you are in the process of filing their return and allowing you to easily send requests for additional information.
Scheduling all of your appointments yourself can take hours each work week. Automating scheduling with an online system allows clients to book their own appointments online, minimizing the number of calls you receive. If scheduling is still a hassle, you might consider hiring an assistant or virtual assistant for the remainder of the busy season.
A paperless office will drastically reduce the time you spend storing, organizing, and searching for files. You may not have time to digitize all of your existing paper files before the season begins, but you can easily switch to paperless document storage for the 2020 tax season. If you use TaxSlayer Pro Premium or TaxSlayer Pro Web, you already have everything you need to go fully digital for your document storage.
Set up refund transfers
Refund transfers, or bank products, may turn out to be especially important for both tax professionals and taxpayers this season. Finances are tight for many taxpayers right now, and refund transfers enable them to pay your fee directly from their tax refund, allowing them to file and receive their much-needed tax refund and use your services at no out-of-pocket cost. For tax preparers, refund transfers simplify the payment process as the refund settlement banks will deposit your payment directly into your account.
Our Pre-Tax Season Checklist series covers all the steps you need to take to offer refund transfers to your clients.
There’s still time to check out the rest of our Pre-Tax Season Checklist series as well. We cover everything from computer maintenance to PTIN renewal so you can face the tax return rush feeling organized and prepared. Find all the posts in our series below:
IRS, State, & Bank Requirements
Computer Networking and Helpful Resources for Tax Preparers
This article was last edited on October 4, 2021.