Accounting Aid’s Response to Covid-19: Updates and Assistance

March 25, 2020 Update

Following Michigan’s shelter-in-place order, all tax site operations for Accounting Aid Society are currently paused. In the meantime, we are investigating alternative forms of tax preparation delivery, and are here to support you. We plan to return to full operations just as soon as we may safely do so.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Federal Income Tax Deadline Extended to July 15 – the deadline to file your return  has been moved from April 15 to July 15, 2020. This new deadline automatically applies for all taxpayers, so there’s no need to apply for this extension or provide any additional information. 

  • The IRS has temporarily closed all Taxpayer Assistance Centers and face-to-face services nationwide until further notice. The IRS is continuing to process tax returns and issue refunds.

  • State Income Tax Deadline remains April 15 – As of March 25, 2020, the State of Michigan has not extended the deadline for state returns; the deadline remains April 15th.

  • City Returns – 24 cities in Michigan impose an income tax requirement on businesses, trusts and individuals. As of March 25, 2020, the deadline for Detroit is April 15th, and the deadline for Hamtramck, Highland Park and Pontiac is April 30th.

  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus) SCAMS – If you receive calls, emails, text messages or any form of communication claiming to be from the Treasury Department, IRS or government offering coronavirus grants or payments in exchange for personal financial information or for a fee, do not respond. These are scams. Report scam attempts here

WAYS WE CAN HELP YOU

  • TurboTax offers a free service to individuals with an adjusted gross income of $36,000 or less ($66,000 for active military, or anyone who qualifies for the Earned Income Tax Credit). This service includes free online filing of federal, state, and local (city) income taxes.

  • My Free Taxes by H&R Block provides free filing of federal and state income taxes for individuals with incomes less than $66,000. Please note this program does not include local (city) returns.

If you have questions working with either of these products, we have a hotline that is staffed Mondays and Wednesday from 12:30pm to 6pm and are looking at expanding these hours. To reach the hotline, call us at: 313-556-1920 ext. 1014

Accounting Aid Society is investigating ways to offer 100% online tax preparation during this time. Please continue to check back here as updates become available

RESOURCES

  • Where’s My Refund? –  an online tool that will allow you to track the status of your refund. To do so, you’ll need your Social Security Number of Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, filing status, and exact refund amount. Typically, your status will be available 24 hours after e-filing or 4 weeks after you mailed your return. 

  • IRS2Go Mobile App the official mobile app of the IRS that allows you to check your refund, make a payment, find free tax preparation assistance and sign up for tax tips and information.

  • Property Tax Exemptions – If you’re a Detroit homeowner struggling to pay your property taxes, you may be eligible for a Property Tax Exemption for 2019. 2020 Property Tax Exemption applications are required to be filed by December 14, 2020. Visit the City of Detroit’s Homeowners Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP) website for more information

March 18, 2020 Update

At Accounting Aid, we know the vulnerable populations we serve are likely to be the hardest hit during the COVID-19 crisis, both from a financial and health standpoint. To that end, we have done our very best to continue to safely serve our clients through these challenging times. 

However, as risk to the community continues to increase, the time has come to reevaluate tax site operations in order to protect those we serve, our staff, our tax site hosts and the community at large. To that end, all site operations for Accounting Aid Society will be paused through March 28th. We will evaluate weekly our ability to resume services as soon as we may safely do so. 

In the meantime, we are reaching out to the hundreds of clients already scheduled to answer their questions, reassure them and are investigating alternate forms of supported, virtual tax preparation. We hope to know more on that in the days to come. The rest of our operations, engagement and administrative teams remain full steam ahead, working in a remote capacity. The engines required to keep our tax services running remain essential and staff are doing all they can to support our clients by planning for what we now know will be a significantly extended 2020 tax preparation season.

We received confirmation yesterday the IRS will be extending the April 15 tax deadline by 90 days due to the coronavirus pandemic. This means, while we are temporarily paused, we will be called upon in new and greatly increased ways as soon as the worst of the crisis abates to meet the needs of our most vulnerable communities and small businesses. We are doing all we can to retain the necessary talent and capacity required to meet these needs in the meantime, so we are hopeful you will continue to stand with us and those we serve together. 

We know you may have questions and would love to connect with you. Please do not hesitate to reach out and request a conversation. We promise to continue to communicate frequently and intend to ‘press play’ and resume tax site operations just as soon as we can. Thank you for partnering with us, and thank you for doing all YOU can to support vulnerable communities during this truly unprecedented time.