With the COVID-19 pandemic, many parts of our lives have been affected, right down to our income taxes. Missoula CPA Walt Kero said one aspect of what was once tax day on April 15th has been changed for those who make quarterly tax payments.

“In normal times, you would have your first estimate, but they have punted that down to July 15th,” Kero said. “Here is the thing that is really crazy; they have made the second estimate due on its normal date, which is June 15th. Here you go. You are paying your second estimate on the 15th of June and your first estimate on July 15th.”

Kero strongly advises against sending any paperwork into the IRS, because there are so few employees working that can address your paperwork.

“If you have to file any paper type return, for whatever reason, the IRS operations have been reduced or suspended,” Kero said. “Paper correspondence is extremely limited. I have a special practitioner priority service and that is closed. They have had net income and central authorization things that are just suspended or shut down.”

Kero said to make sure you or your tax preparer utilize direct deposit for any future payments or refunds.

“Most of the service centers are down to very skeleton crews,” Kero said. “If you are expecting refunds, just anticipate that it is going to take a while. If they are electronically filed from an electronically filed return, you will get your refund much quicker. If you have amended returns or you can’t electronically file, you’re in trouble. By all means, use the direct deposit because it will take months to get refunds if you don’t use as much electronics as possible.”

Kero said to make sure you have a trusted tax preparer or advisor to keep from running afoul of the IRS.