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.
Tax Tip of the Month: Two items specific to 2020 to consider when filling out your tax organizer
The year 2020 was certainly, shall we say, "unique" in many ways, and that is also true when it comes to preparing to file your tax return for 2020. If you are using the services of a tax preparer such as Benjamin H. Johnson CPA, there are two pieces of information specific to 2020 that you will need to provide them with.

The first item of concern is the total amount of stimulus money you received from the federal government in 2020 (from both the first and second rounds of economic stimulus payments). The reason you'll want to provide this information is that if, for some reason, you didn't get all the money that you were supposed to, the IRS will give it to you in the form of a tax credit or refund when you file your return.

On the other hand, if you got too much money, no action will be taken. In other words, there is now downside for you of providing this information when you file your tax return.

The second piece of information you'll need to give your tax preparer is whether or not you took an early distribution from a retirement account, which was permitted penalty-free in 2020 due to the pandemic. The financial firm where you have your account should provide you with a 1099-R form if you took such a distribution, which you should give to your tax preparer.

If taking the distribution resulted in taxable income for you, you have the option of spreading that income out over a 3-year period--make sure you let your tax preparer know if you want to exercise that option.
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
Ben took the opportunity provided by the recent blast of winter weather in the area to build a snow bunny with his grandson. Is that a rabbit or a hare?
Latest Firm News
We are pleased to report that our office is fully staffed, healthy, and fully ramped up for tax season. Our extended office hours are in effect for tax season, including Saturday mornings in addition to Monday--Friday. Although we aren't holding in-person appointments with clients, we are fully capable of providing you with the outstanding service you've come to expect from our firm.
Featured Video: Why do you need a CPA?
This time of year, it's hard to avoid seeing ads on the TV and internet for DIY tax preparation software or "big box" tax prep companies like H&R Block. These ads often make it sound like filing a tax return is a breeze. If that were true, the profession of CPA wouldn't exist. Watch the video below to hear Ben talk about why you need a CPA, and why it is better to work with the same CPA year after year instead of just going with whoever happens to be sitting behind the desk at a seasonal tax prep firm when you walk in the door.
Featured Resource: IRS tool to check status of your amended return
Did you know that the IRS has a tool available for people to check the status of your Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, for this year and up to three prior years? It is especially useful now, because of the backlog of work the IRS is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to access the tool.
Featured Customer: Three Oaks Pet Resort
Three Oaks Pet Resort is more than just a traditional kennel. They were the first place in Farmville to provide comprehensive pet care in a modern facility, and offer an enriching, safe, relaxing environment for all of their guests! In addition to catering to the needs of canines, they also offer services for feline friends. Their experienced, kind and knowledgeable staff will ensure that all pets receive only the best care, and plenty of personal attention.

Come by today and see why they are Farmville's premier place for pets!