May 17th Doesn’t Matter

Some people really don’t like having their pre-conceived notions challenged.

For example, consider this response to the email I sent yesterday:
Boy are you wrong!!! Congress passed the Legislation after tax season already started – beyond our control.
IRS needed to interpret the changes made in the final Legislation – beyond our control.
Tax software needed to be updated for those changes – beyond our control.
State Legislators needed to decide if they were going to follow federal changes – beyond our control.

…plus six more lines, including one extolling my “insensitivity and arrogance”.

All because I had the audacity to declare that yesterday was the end of filing season.

In total, I received over 30 replies to yesterdays email. That’s a lot of replies for what was probably the shortest email I’ve ever sent.

Just so everyone knows, I am completely aware that IRS extended the filing and payment deadline to May 17th — I’m not an idiot living under a rock (although that’s heavily debated).

But as I’ve written a few times in these emails over the past month plus, just because the IRS extended the deadline, doesn’t mean you have to.

My advice to all tax pros has been to “act as if” April 15th was still the deadline, and do as you would in any other year. That means wrapping up existing returns in progress between April 1 and 15. As of April 1, cutting off any clients that have not brought you docs yet — everybody not in-progress goes on extension to October. The same best practices that you would use in any other year.


The most important reason is so that this doesn’t throw off your business operations for the rest of the year. In other words, don’t let external forces dictate your business decisions. Tax professionals that simply embrace the May 17th extended deadline will, inevitably, continue to operate in “filing season mode”. That means delaying 1040 tax resolution season marketing. That means skipping late April and early May business development opportunities, such as new ad campaigns, the early return of some trade shows, potential speaking opportunities, and the like.

By failing to enforce a standard April 15th deadline upon your clients, you are stepping over dollars to pick up dimes. If you also offer accounting services, and you stay 100% in “tax season mode”, think of all the potential accounting clients that … Continue reading

Revisiting agent fees for SBA EIDL and PPP loans

While I twiddle my thumbs waiting for the IRS to update the Collection Financial Standards so I can report on it, and while you wrap up tax season over the next 11 days (because you should be blatantly ignoring the May 17 nonsense), let’s not forget about the PPP and EIDL loan worlds.

As you may have heard, the application period for PPP loans has been extended through May 31, with processing extended to June 30. So, plenty of time for your clients to get in both their first and second draw applications if they haven’t already done so.

EIDL application deadlines are always specific to each disaster declaration. For the ‘rona ‘saster, the application deadline is currently December 31, 2021. If your area has been impacted by recent winter storms, hurricanes, fires, floods, tornadoes, civil unrest, earthquakes, drought… Yikes, what a downer… Here, just search the SBA disaster declaration list yourself. There are literally 999 active disaster declarations across the country. Each local disaster declaration will have it’s own application period for EIDL and other relief that your clients might be eligible for.

Ya’ know what, after that depressing paragraph, I hereby interrupt this email to insert some random cuteness…


OK, much better!

As I was saying… There is still plenty of opportunity for you to be the hero and help your clients that need it to obtain these loan funds. But, there’s a catch to being an accountant and helping with SBA loan applications. I wrote about this extensively a year ago, but it’s worth revisiting now as the PPP winds down.

Last year about this time, I was annoyed to learn that some accounting “guru” out there was not only instructing tax and accounting professionals to charge an up front fee for completing the PPP loan application for their clients, but to also charge a back-end contingency fee based on the approved loan amount. This “guru” was setting people up for a visit from an SBA Special Agent (yes, the SBA has law enforcement personnel).

Here is the super-short version of what you need to know about fees in relation to SBA loans:

  1. It is a violation of SBA regulations for you to charge any fee in connection with an SBA 7(a) loan application. PPP loans are 7(a) loans.
  2. It is a violation of SBA regulations for anybody to charge a contingency fee in connection with any
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IRS Solutions Software Review

Note: Detailed review coming soon.

There are only four full-featured tax resolution software solutions in existence (plus three partial/lite solutions).

When Canopy launched back in 2014, I was an immediate fan. I was an early informal advisor to the company, and brought them many of their earliest customers. Their software was, at the time, quite groundbreaking in terms of features and user interface compared to the two other options that existed on the market at the time, which I wasn’t at all a fan of.

But over time, Canopy started spending more of their development resources on other projects, particularly their practice management software (which I’m not impressed with). As such, the tax resolution piece started to languish. Now, I don’t blame them — the practice management side is the much larger marketplace, and the company has to answer to venture capital firms now. I get it. But this shift in priorities, as well as their recent move to nickel-and-dime pricing on a per case basis, left a very sour taste in my mouth. Because of the pricing change in particular, I just can’t recommend them any further.

Fortunately, a newcomer to the tax resolution software space has been making amazing strides in the past few years: IRS Solutions Software.

This small, family-owned company was started by two Enrolled Agents, and they’re not out chasing all that VC cheddar. Rather, they’re focused on creating great tax resolution software at an affordable price without any nickel-and-diming.

I’m planning on doing a full review of the software soon, with videos and screen shots to show you just how great it is. But until I put that together, I want to encourage you to try it out yourself.

Head on over to, and use coupon code jassen7 to get your first month for just $7. I think you’ll find the interface easier to use, the integrated IRS notice explanations (without additional fee!) to be very helpful, and hands down the best transcript report in the industry (way better than Tax Help Software’s transcript report, in my personal opinion).… Continue reading