So . . . tax season is over. YAYYYYY!!!! Okay, sorry. It’s been a long, but somehow short 2 and a half months so a mini-celebration is in order. Well, we’ve been going over so many tax issues the past few months that I wanted to lighten it up a little, and let you know what us tax professionals do outside of tax season. Yes, we are real people and we know how to function when we’re not staring into a computer screen and analyzing numbers. So here’s what goes on in case you were curious!
1. Extensions: The first obvious thing we do is get all of the extensions filed. For business returns, we have until September 15th to file. Personal returns must be filed until October 15th. We call the months leading up to those deadlines the “second tax season”. If someone extends a lot of returns, this second tax season could be just as stressful as the first. However, many professionals try to file most or all of their returns by the March or April 15th deadlines. Then they file any extensions throughout the year so their second tax season is virtually nonexistent.
2.. Continuing Education: Many tax professionals are Certified Public Accountants. Like many other professional license holders, CPAs are required to complete continuing education credits in order to remain competent in their profession and to renew their license. Each state has its own requirements for continuing education hours. However, to maintain membership in the AICPA, CPAs are required to complete 120 hours of continuing education over a three-year period.
3. Reviews, Compilations, Audits: Many tax professionals work at CPA firms that operate year round (like me!). This means business doesn’t just stop once tax season is over. CPA firms are often hired to conduct audits, reviews, and compilations. Most often this is done for businesses. Many businesses need these services to comply with boards of which they may be members or to report information to investors. If you think you need one of these services, be sure to contact your local CPA office for information!
4. HAVE FUN! Yes us tax professionals do have fun too! There’s obviously many different versions of fun, but to each their own. I personally CAN’T WAIT to have the time to read a book front to back! I also will get back to the gym at lunch time. Often during tax season, you take 15 minutes or less for lunch or no lunch at all. We eat while we work! I’ll also head up to Lake Tahoe on the weekends to soak up the sun and enjoy the beautiful view. If you’ve never been to Tahoe, you should go sometime. It’s beautiful!
Life doesn’t end when tax season ends, and as a tax professional, I can tell you that we aren’t all about work all the time. Having fun and enjoying my much-needed free time is always at the top of my list! What do you like to do with your free time? Any comments about things I should do during the off-season? Leave your ideas below!