03/16/2020: Corona Virus Procedures

Mar 16, 2020

Dear Clients:

We at Larry’s Income Tax first wish to extend our prayers for a quick, safe, and full recovery to any of you who are personally dealing with the corona virus at this moment.

We encourage everyone to listen to official local, state, and federal government announcements and take information from anywhere else with a grain of salt. For your own sanity, may we even suggest limiting your online usage—especially popular social media sites where everyone is suddenly an expert or insider and where so many false rumors get started, fueled and fan an already chaotic blaze of misinformation.

To the point of this letter: we want all of you to know that we will continue to prepare your taxes for as long as we can—though a bit differently than normal. We take great pride in working alongside you---making sure your tax return is done correctly, ethically, and at a great value to you. As much as we care about that aspect of our relationship with you guys---we care more about your health and that of our employees.

Therefore, in an effort to minimize the exposure and spreading of the corona virus to you and our employees, effective immediately, we will begin a DROP-OFF ONLY policy that will play out in two different ways:

1. You can drop off all your documents in an envelope, give us at least one good phone number and we will call you with any questions or notify you that it’s done. The turnaround will depend on volume, but usually takes 1-3 weeks.


2. You can actually schedule an appointment, just like you normally would. At the time of your appointment, we will meet you at the window and take your documents into our office and immediately start working on it, as usual. The only difference from a traditional appointment is that we are asking you to wait in the waiting room or in your car. You can even go off and come back about 30-40 minutes later---you don’t have to stay on the premises. Again, we would need a good number to call you with any questions we may have in completing the return. If your return is complicated enough (maybe you’re self-employed or had lots of changes), we may be on the phone with you for a while, so make sure your battery is charged or that you have a charger handy!

Below is a little refresher of things you’ll want to make sure get included in your packet:

*As you may remember from last year, most of us will not itemize deductions because the standard deduction almost doubled from what it used to be prior to 2018. This means that you don’t need to waste your time totaling donations, medical expense, property tax, mortgage interest, or the “state income tax” (box 17 on W-2)----UNLESS THEIR TOTAL EXCEEDS:
$12,200 for singles or marrieds filing separately;
$18,350 for heads of household,
$24,400 for marrieds filing jointly.

You can add an extra $1300 to the above if you're over 65 yrs old ($2,600 if both you and your spouse are over 65). Like we said---it's gotten harder to itemize nowadays!

*All W-2, 1099s, 1099-SSA, and 1099-R forms showing your income.

*All year-end reports sent to you by your broker (it shows dividends, interest, and proceeds from sale of stocks), and also any forms 1099-div and 1099-int showing dividend and interest income.

*Gamblers, we need all forms W2G and your win/loss statements from casinos and any other records documenting your gambling losses.

*This is the first year where there is no longer a penalty for not having insurance. HOWEVER, if you had insurance through the Marketplace (aka “Obamacare”), we absolutely need your form 1095-A. We don’t need 1095B or 1095C---we only need form 1095A.

*If you’re claiming kids: totals for daycare and before/after care (if < 13 yrs old). If enrolled in K-12, give us the cost of their tuition, uniform, textbooks and school supplies. And, if they’re in college (FT < 24 yrs old), give us their form 1098T and the cost of their textbooks, class, fees and supplies---please remember that housing, transportation and meals are not deductions.

*Let us know whether you've invested in cryptocurrency or own/have signature authority on foreign accounts that have had a balance exceeding $10,000 at any point during the year.

*If you have a homeowner’s or a renter’s policy, we need a copy of your property insurance policy’s declaration page. If you don’t have it, call your agent and ask them to fax it to us at 504-443-3558.

*For those of you who are self-employed (file sch C), or have rental property, we will need all your income and expenses. It may help to review your 2018 return to make sure you don’t overlook anything.

*Just a few weeks ago, congress reinstated tax credits for certain energy efficient improvements to the home. Mostly to the “outer envelope” of your house—windows, doors, siding, some roofs, etc—and some major inside components like A/C unites with >= 16 SEER and tankless water heaters. If you’ve had these, let us know.

*Anything else that’s specific to you (you sold your deceased parent’s home, you had some BP income, you

*We will call you to verify all figures before we finalize your return you---we may call you as late as 9PM to discuss your return, but let us know if you have a preferred time and we’ll try to honor it.

We will try to keep our website and facebook page updated with the latest OFFICIAL news regarding extensions, credits or any other procedures affecting our income tax and bookkeeping clients---everything else we'll leave to the litany of ".gov" and ".org" sites to inform us.