End of 2020 Tax Filing Season Extended Hours & Tips

We are now within 1 week of the May 17th filing deadline and many of you are as busy as ever assisting procrastinating clients!  Federal Direct will be available for extended support hours this Friday, Saturday and Monday leading up to the filing deadline.  Give us a call and we can help get those last minute returns wrapped up or if more time is needed, get an extension filed allowing us until October 15th to get returns finalized.

1.  Extended hours are available for tax support to assist getting those last minute returns completed:

-Friday 5/14: 9am – 9pm Eastern
-Saturday 5/15: 10am – 3pm Eastern
-Monday 5/17: 10am – Midnight Eastern
2.  Send State returns as “Unlinked”
-Sending state returns “un-linked” allows you to send the state returns simultaneously via e-file as opposed to having to wait for the federal return to be accepted.  This is important if you are trying to beat the filing deadline for state e-file returns.  If you are not familiar with how to do this, please give tax support a call for assistance.
3.  Send returns throughout the day as they are completed.
-Do not stockpile returns to send all as a batch at the end of the day.  Send individual returns as they are completed.
4.  Check your system for rejected returns, fix and resubmit before 5/17 midnight.  
-Be sure to do an audit of your returns to ensure that you are aware of all rejections in your system.  Many rejections only require a simple fix and resubmission to get accepted.
5.  File an Extension if you or the taxpayer needs more time! 
-There is no shame in filing an extension, and no fee from Federal Direct.
-Even with the extended filing season we already are experiencing, you can file a form 4868 which will allow for an extension until 10/15.  If you are not familiar with how to do this, please see the following 5 minute tutorial: https://youtu.be/3wxacOSv3vc
6.  An Extension only allows for an extension of time to file, not to pay.  
-If a balance is due, you should encourage your client to pay it before 5/17 to avoid any late payment penalties and interest.  This payment can be made directly to the IRS via their website, or with your e-filing of a 4868 extension form.
7.  Returns have to be submitted prior to Midnight Eastern on 5/17 to be considered timely filed.  
-Official acceptances can take a little while on deadline days, depending on volume in the system.  Do not stress over acceptance date & time.  You are OK as long as you submit it prior to Midnight Eastern on 5/17.
8.  If you are using the interview based software on a QuickStart or Silver partnership package, be sure to send your returns in early on the deadline to ensure they get processed and submitted to the IRS before Midnight.  
-We suggest no later than 9pm Eastern for those on these interview based software platforms.
9.  Rest easy. Rejected returns get an additional window of time to fix the rejection and resubmit to still be considered “timely filed”.
-This is referred to as the “perfection period”.  A return must have been e-filed and rejected to qualify.  If so, there is a 5 day window to fix the reject and resubmit and still be considered timely filed.
10.  Don’t forget that the IRS accepts returns via e-file nearly year round.
-IRS accepts 3 years of returns electronically (current year and prior 2 years)
-Bank products are available through the end of October on current year return allowing you to collect your prep fees out of taxpayer refunds.

Posted: May 11, 2021

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