Written by: Raj Azad, Director at GTN West Central.
Now that the tax busy season is over, take some time for yourself to relax. Then take some time to review the past tax season and create a Post Tax Season Checklist.
Taking time now to review this past tax season will allow you and your tax provider to be better prepared for a smoother tax season next year. Identified below are a number of areas that we recommend for this post tax season review.
Post Tax Season Checklist:
Post busy season review meeting
Set up a meeting with your tax provider to discuss how busy season went, any problems that arose, and next steps to keep things moving during the summer months. Agree on responsibilities, timelines, and best practices for implementation.
Draft next year’s authorization list
Why not start now? You can start with your current authorization list, identify mobile employees who no longer need to be on the list, and continue by adding new mobile employees as the year progresses. By the end of the year, you should only need to complete a quick review of the list.
Identify delinquent taxpayers and follow-up with them
You and your tax provider should have discussed, in the “Post Busy Season Review Meeting,” if you have mobile employees that are behind in their tax return filing requirements. Now is a good time to follow up with them. The sooner you reach out to them, the sooner they will get on board. Don't let non-compliers drift as they may cause big headaches down the road.
Identify who may need long-term extensions
Many US taxpayers living overseas need to file extensions to file their tax returns. There may be many reasons for these extensions, ranging from qualifications for foreign earned income exclusions to foreign tax information not being readily available. Know who these mobile employees are and why their returns are extended. Also, make sure these individuals have received necessary communications so the right expectations are set.
Did you have a proper year-end compensation review process in place, or are you scrambling around trying to resolve W-2 corrections? Identify what went well in your compensation reporting process and what can be improved. Make the necessary adjustments to your processes will enable you to get your compensation reporting under control for the next filing season. You may want to pay closer attention to bonus payments paid to your mobile employees who are in their first or last year of assignment. Bonus payments may create balances due if the necessary withholdings aren’t taken in the right tax jurisdiction, which can be tricky.
Balances due on returns
Did your mobile employees have balances due on tax returns that were more than expected? Was there anything you identified that could have been done better? Review your accrual process with your tax provider and make sure you have a good process in place.
Balance due payment process
Did you receive payment requests on time from your tax provider? Did you have enough time to make these payments? Make sure the processes and timelines that you had set previously are manageable. If they are not, make the necessary adjustments for next year, while the experience is still fresh in your memory.
Tax reimbursement collection
Make sure to track your receivables from tax reimbursement calculations. Also, remember that any payments due back to the company may result in potential "claim of right" on the following year's tax return, which may be an additional tax savings to the company.
Foreign tax credits
Put a process in place to track how much foreign tax credit carry-forward your mobile employees have to use in future tax years. This will also help you identify your authorization list for the next tax year.
Taking time now to identify what went well and what didn't will help you as you look to next year's process. Have a discussion with your tax provider and express your needs and what could help you for the year ahead. Put the effort in now and next year's “busy season” might not be so busy.
Download our checklist today to get a jump-start on next year’s tax season by clicking here.
If you would like more information on how we can make your tax world easier to travel, please contact Raj Azad at +1.763.746.4557 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see Our Services page for further information on services we offer and tax support we can provide to you and your permanent transfers.
The information provided in this newsletter is for general guidance only and should not be utilized in lieu of obtaining professional tax and/or legal advice.