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'The worst': Tax professionals sound off on the 2020 tax filing season

April 7, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 26.6%. 1 min read.

It's very hard to win a game when the rules keep changing as you're playing.

Deadline extensions, new retroactive tax breaks, new guidance and then revised guidance on how to incorporate all the changes have been rolling out ever since the American Rescue Plan was signed into law on March 11, which came a month after the tax filing season began and after 66 million returns had already been filed.

"The changes are confusing everyone," said CPA Michelle Staebell in Rochester, New York, who also said this tax season has been the worst one she's experienced in her 15 years of practice.

And a lot of preparers are sitting on clients' returns -- especially those who received unemployment compensation or got a Paycheck Protection Program loan for their small business -- because their states haven't indicated yet whether they will follow the IRS and exclude the first $10,200 in unemployment income from tax or let small businesses deduct expenses paid for with PPP money.

The IRS has said for those who already filed returns before the unemployment benefits exclusion was approved that it would figure out the fix and pay the filer any additional money owed so they don't have to file an amended return.

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