Important announcement: Due to the number of COVID-19 cases in our area, our office will not be holding in-person appointments for clients during this tax season. Click here or read the COVID-19 Precautions section of this newsletter for more info.
Note: The deadline for filing Federal and Virginia state income tax returns, as well as paying any taxes due on those returns, has been extended until May 15th. However, estimated tax payments for the first quarter of 2021 (for those that need to make them) are still due on April 15th.
Tax Tip of the Month: Information about the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress
As you probably have heard by now, last month Congress passed another economic stimulus bill known as the American Rescue Plan. There is a lot in the bill--too much to cover in this newsletter--but here are some of the most important things to know when it comes to your taxes:

  • If you have received unemployment benefits during the past year, the first $10,200 will not be taxed by the Federal government, thanks to this bill.
  • A provision in the bill provides a significant amount of grant money to service businesses like restaurants that have been hard hit by the pandemic.
  • The bill provides for another round of direct stimulus payments to many Americans. You have probably received this payment already if you were eligible. You can click here to check your eligibility and the status of your payment if you were eligible.

Let's circle back to the first bullet point on that list for a second--the one about unemployment benefits. Notice that it changes tax law in the middle of tax season after some returns have already been filed--a very unusual and perhaps unprecedented situation, at least in modern times. You may be wondering what happens if you are impacted by that provision and filed your tax return before this law was passed. The current IRS guidance is that you should NOT file an amended return. Instead, they are saying that they will analyze all returns that are impacted by this situation, and if necessary issue tax refund checks to those who qualify.
COVID-19 Precautions for Tax Season
Due to the number of COVID-19 cases in our area, our office will not be holding in-person appointments for clients during this tax season.

An online portal will be set up for all clients for the purposes of sending and receiving documents. Clients can use this online portal, the dropbox outside our office, or mail to send us their completed tax organizers and any other documents they need to send us. 

If clients want to have a meeting to discuss their tax situation, phone meetings or online meetings via Zoom will be available. Clients must submit their completed tax organizers and/or other relevant documents at least one day in advance of the meeting.

Finally, we will be setting up a system to allow clients to sign e-file forms and other forms electronically as another way to minimize physical contact.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation as we work to keep everyone as safe as possible during these difficult times.
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Picture of the Month
We have a great "spring" picture for April--a shot Ben took of some daffodils growing at an old house site in the forest on his farm.
Latest Firm News
We continue to work hard getting client's tax returns completed, reviewed, and filed as quickly as possible during a very challenging tax season. As if there weren't enough complications already, the new stimulus bill that just passed Congress changed tax law in the middle of tax season after some returns had already been filed.

Ben recently attended a day of continuing education coursework to update him on all the implications of the new law, so rest assured if we are preparing your return we will apply and applicable provisions to it. We do appreciate your understanding, though, that due to all the unique situations we've had to deal with this year, tax returns are taking a little longer to prepare and file than normal.
Featured Video: Help for Taxpayers
In one of the most complicated tax seasons in living memory, many people have questions. The IRS has a variety of resources on their website to help--watch the video below for an overview of some of those resources.
Featured Resource: American Rescue Plan Information on Grants for Small Businesses
One of the provisions in the American Rescue Plan provided grant money to businesses that were impacted negatively by the pandemic. It's called the "Shuttered Venues Operations Grant" or SVOG for short. Read more details about it on the Small Business Administration's website.
Featured Customer: Bailey's Auto Service
Recently expanded to 9 bays, Bailey's Auto is more capable than ever to provide the prompt, courteous, and superior workmanship your car deserves with the most up to date technology. It is their privilege to continuously strive to be their best because their customers deserve the highest standards of excellence.