Navigating Post 7-October Tax Season

Apr 16, 2024

Navigating Post 7-October Tax Season

This tax season has obviously been incredibly difficult for our firm, as we balance serving our clients and handling their tax returns while also keeping in mind that many people have more important things in life right now. Personally, it has been a huge challenge for me to know when to even ask a client to send us missing documents. We have clients serving in the army, clients relocated from North and South, clients who have lost loved ones on 7-October, clients who have lost loved ones since 7-October, even clients who have been taken hostage. Everyone has so much on their mind right now, it almost feels silly to even ask people about taxes.

Then again, I have had some clients tell me they genuinely want to file their taxes now. Some people have said they want to feel like they can control something. To find and complete a task. Others have said that taxes cause them stress and just knowing they are taken care of will remove one level of stress in people’s lives.

At Cole and Waxman, we are trying to balance this situation. We file extensions for clients, advise on estimated payments, do whatever we can to push off the stress for people who do not want to deal with it now (and it definitely helps that the IRS has given an additional extension until 7-October-2024 for most things). But also, we are trying to help those that want to be helped now. We do our best to be sensitive and prioritize filings for the clients that want it to be prioritized. We are not always perfect, but we really are doing our best.

One of the more famous parts of the Haggadah that we read on Pesach is “ha lachma anya”. This is at the start of maggid (the telling of the story) where we invite “all who are hungry, let them come and eat”. One of the obvious questions asked here is who exactly are we inviting? We already have all the guests sitting around the table. An answer given is that we are inviting ourselves. After the pre-holiday preparation craziness, we are finally sitting at the table and saying to ourselves and our family, “now it is time to sit and eat”. And the wording is interesting, since it doesn’t say “everyone” come and eat, rather it says “all who are hungry” to come and eat. The idea as we start the Seder is that whoever is ready and comfortable to join us, should. We make sure to create a comfortable atmosphere so people can join the Seder, as long as they are comfortable. But do not push or force anyone to eat with us.

This is the idea I feel with the current tax season. “All who would like to file, come and file”. There is no pressure. We are here for you as you need, but only if you need. We hope we can help our clients at whatever level we can and be a source of comfort to those who are looking for it.

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