BULLHEAD CITY — As the federal filing extension for 2019 income taxes will end Wednesday, local accountants continue with wolfish focus to crunch numbers.
Back in March, due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. government delayed the annual April 15 deadline for three months without penalty. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey did the same with state income tax returns.
Gary Shapiro, who owns The Southwest Financial Center in Bullhead City, estimated that 50 of 400 of his clients paused their tax preparation.
“Most all of our work was done before April 1, as is usual in our office,” Shapiro said, adding that Wednesday also is the extension date for American taxpayers to pay any liabilities.
Shapiro said his company will have about 20 extensions, as is typically the case for him, to process for the Oct. 15 deadline for those granted a six-month extension by the Internal Revenue Service.
“Proportionally, most offices that I am in touch with have had pretty much the same experience with tax filing numbers,” he said.
As expected, TSFC has been particularly busy this month, he said. Throughout the year, the business is preoccupied with insurance quotes; Shapiro does initial write-ups when clients drop off policies for annual reviews and quote comparisons.
On occasion, he said, “There are new companies in Arizona or companies that add a line of insurance business, which makes it even more important to do annual insurance reviews.”
Local certified public accountant Brent Marshall, whose office is on Highway 95 in Bullhead City, said “the majority” of his clients took advantage of the three-month leeway to wait until Wednesday.
“Only 10 to 15 are waiting for Oct. 15, and half of those filings are business-related,” Marshall said.
Although anybody who is filing via U.S. mail must do so before the end of business Wednesday, Marshall recommended that anyone owing money to the IRS should use certified mail and procure a “white paper” receipt (to prove the individual made an attempt within the allotted time).
It’s more efficient to file through the website IRS.gov by using a credit card or ETF check; that way, the taxpayer’s documentation is guaranteed to be properly handled by Wednesday.