Tax Pro’s Slammed with Sloppy Software and Federal Sequestration

Will this be remembered as another “tax season from hell?”
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Busy Season Barometer

by Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines Research

The last time tax professionals slogged through a tax season from hell, it was 2008, the financial world was crashing into a million little pieces, and 1 in 4 accountants was reporting disastrous operations.

Before that, long-timers might recall 1995, when the IRS deployed a filing fraud crackdown that delayed millions of refunds.

MORE TAX SEASON RESEARCH: Tax Pro’s Turn Negative on Busy Season | Busy Season Outlook 2013 | Top Tax Season Trends, Issues and Opportunities

This year, with the IRS opening the filing gates not until March 4, could 2013 become another one for the record books?

In the latest update to the CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer, topline findings include:

  • The number of practitioners reporting a worse season this year, as compared to last year at the same time, is surging month to month.
  • The top 15 issues causing concern, led by IRS operations and software and technology problems
  • Verbatim reports from practitioners around the nation, including one who is seeing a 20% fee decline in his practice.
  • How practitioners are responding to clients’ lack of understanding, including resorting to discounts.