Dear Clients and Friends:
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many challenges and continues to have us all make sacrifices for the health and well-being of our community. We know that many of you are unable to travel, work, or proceed as normal right now due to current government orders and advice. However, we wanted to update you with information from the IRS and explain how Herr Potts and Potts continues to remain steadfast in providing legal and tax services.
Governor Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of March 19, 2020. Although we plan to collect our mail on a regular basis, we will not be working at our Wayne or West Chester offices until the Governor allows us to return. However, we will be working from home and checking email and voicemail regularly (while also being part-time teachers to our home-schooled children!).
Estate Planning Documents And Other Legal Work: We are completing ongoing estate planning projects, but we also continue to open new estate planning matters and have implemented changes clients would like to make to existing documents during this time. In fact, under Pennsylvania Law many estate planning documents (e.g. wills, codicils, trusts or trust amendments) will be valid even without the formality of witnesses and notaries, so long as the documents are signed and dated at the end. We continue to set up phone meetings and video meetings using Zoom and Facetime to start your legal matter.
Income Tax Returns: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service has extended the deadline for filing individual tax returns for 2019 from April 15 to July 15 via IRS Notice 2020-18. This notice applies to individuals, corporations, estates and trusts, regardless of how much tax is owed. There is no paper extension to file since it is automatic. The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has also extended the deadline until July 15, 2020 as well. Please check with us or with your local rules if you file a local tax return. We will continue to work on tax returns from our home and will be sending out your returns on a regular basis. If you have already received your package, please return the e-signing pages (if you haven’t already done so) to us in the mail and we will ensure your returns are e-filed.
One important thing to keep in mind if you pay estimates, at this time the first quarter payment is due on July 15 but your second quarter payment is still due on June 15. If your tax return is delayed then we will work together to ensure a payment schedule that works for you.
Because of this notice and the fact that—like you and your families— our attorneys and staff are following public health protocol by practicing social distancing and staying home with our families as much as possible, Herr Potts and Potts will likely not be meeting the usual April 15th deadline for some of our clients. Our office will contact you directly in the coming weeks to keep you updated on whether the pandemic will affect the filing time of your personal tax return.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work with you to fulfill our obligations to you, our families, and our community. We at Herr, Potts and Potts are hoping all of you stay safe and healthy during this trying time. Thank you for your trust.