Finishing strong for the final tax season stretch
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Finishing strong for the final tax season stretch

1 year ago · 2 min read

Do you enjoy participating in races (half-marathons, triathlons and my latest bucket list item: obstacle runs) that you are never going to win? Or, let’s be honest, finish in the first 50% of participants? I am fiercely competitive by nature, but I am also aware of my physical limitations. So, I set personal goals for myself.

One of those goals is to cross the finish line looking strong and happy, possibly for the photo finish. ( See my happiest finish line photo to date). But also, it’s to enjoy the exhilarating finish-line feeling.

Filing deadlines don’t have all the same glory of a race, but there are parallels — that feeling of pushing yourself when you don’t think you can, knowing that the finish line is around the corner.

As you enter the finish chute of this 2021 tax season, we want you to know that the AICPA® is here cheering for you and every last finisher. Hang in there, you can take a deep breath soon!

This year’s race had many obstacles — the continuing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, struggles dealing with the IRS, tax legislation passed in March with retroactive implications, unavailable guidance on key parts of legislation necessary to complete returns and first quarter estimated tax payments due April 15 rather than with the May 17 filing deadline. I could go on and on.

Which of these tax season hurdles did you find the most challenging? As you enter this final stretch toward May 17, unload that tax season baggage and vent with a quick therapy session. Tell me how tax season is going for you so far — how you worked, what you struggled with or even what you had for breakfast. Whatever your challenges or triumphs, I want to hear from you!

While you’re trudging through the last bits of this tax season, be sure to mark your calendar for either May 26 or June 2 to attend the Tax Section’s upcoming webcast — “Tax Practice Quarterly: Managing a Tax Practice in the Modern World.” We’ll talk about the obstacles you faced during this tax season. But, even more importantly, what you can do to thrive as you plan your next race.

Lessons learned are important and require doing the hard work necessary to make sure that you don’t hit the wall during future tax seasons. Will the next one be challenging? Certainly. But it will be better if you put in the work to make it better.

You’re almost there!

April Walker, CPA

April Walker is a Lead Technical Manager in the AICPA’s Tax Division. Prior to joining the AICPA in January 2016, April was in the public accounting field for twenty years, specializing in individual tax, closely held businesses and their respective owners, and not-for-profit taxation. April practiced at Blackman & Sloop, CPAs, a local firm in Chapel Hill, NC, for the past 14 years and prior to joining that firm, she worked for almost 5 years at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Raleigh, NC. April is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the North Carolina Association of CPAs.

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