At the 07/15 and 09/01 updates we started to see signs that the filing gap for completed returns was closing. Unfortunately, as of 10/15, our data shows that gap has widened again, and as we end extension season there is a 5.4% difference between 2019 and 2020 completed returns. In our experience, year-over-year differences in work left uncompleted typically arise because:
- The return is not being filed by the firm this year, but this hasn’t been noted in XCMworkflow
- The return is complete and has been filed, but firms processes haven’t been followed to “complete” the return in XCMworkflow
- The return is being filed late
In general, the difference is usually traced back to one of the first two bullets.
We should note – and celebrate – that 1040 returns have made significant gains throughout the entire extended filing season, going from a 22% gap in returns not started on April 01 to 3% on October 15.
As we begin to look towards the 2021 busy season, it will be interesting to see how firms apply the lessons learned during this unique season to better support clients and staff. For more on this, see my concluding thoughts.