Why this busy season will be busier than usual for tax professionals

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

tax reform, busy season, tax law, CPAAt the end of each year, tax professionals begin in earnest to prepare themselves and their clients for the upcoming busy season. For many, this includes tax planning, updating technology/software, and studying up on the latest tax updates. However, with tax reform seeming to become more of a certainty, tax professionals find themselves at a disadvantage going into the 2018 tax busy season. Unfortunately, this means that tax professionals are going to have to spend a significant amount of time this busy season learning the new tax laws in addition to preparing your tax returns and giving you tax advice.

There is one bright spot and that is that the House and Senate bills have been out for a little over a month. Tax professionals have been studying the ins and outs of each of these bills, noting the similarities and differences and how they will affect our clients. We are hoping this will give us a good foundation to build on for if, or when, the reconciled tax bill gets passed.

Clients are already asking their tax professionals for advice and clarification on the new tax bill. The problem is that we can only tell you what we know, which isn’t much. While the final bill is not guaranteed to pass, it’s does seem likely before year-end. Congress will mostly likely vote on it this week since the House and the Senate were able to reach some compromises on Wednesday.

Over the next couple of months, tax professionals are going to have to begin the process of essentially re-learning a large part of the tax code. This is not a quick and easy process since most of the details of the new tax bill will be coming out slowly over the next couple of months (if not years!). Adding this to an already busy tax season is going to make this busy season one for the record books!

Stacy Redmond, CPA