At Renita M. Owens, CPA, LLC, we are keenly aware of the potential impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are taking steps to provide for the continuity of our client services and the safety of our employees and clients as we navigate through the uncertainly of the outbreak.
We are staying up-to-date on the latest developments. The actions we are taking include monitoring resources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the World Health Organization; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and our local public health department.
As you know, this is one of the busiest times of the year for accounting firms with tax filings and financial statement regulatory deadlines rapidly approaching. Disaster preparedness is an integral part of our firm’s risk management program and includes a viable pandemic response plan.
Below are some of the features of the plan and the actions we are taking:
Ensuring access to our firm:
- Based on current guidance and our own standards and practices, our office currently has no plans to shut down at this time and will remain open and accessible. The office will continue to be open Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5:00 pm for delivering your tax information or for signing/picking up your completed returns. We have implemented enhanced cleaning measures for our office for the protection of our employees and clients in accordance with the current guidelines put out by the CDC and other health agencies.
- If you would prefer to remain safely in your home, there are several methods we can utilize:
o Mail: You may mail your tax information to us at the address given above.
o Fax: If you have access to a fax machine, you may fax your information to us at
864-271-7587. Please include a cover page with your full name, phone number and the number of pages we should receive.
o Email: If you have access to a scanner, you may email documents to us
Lanelle@cpawork4u.com. Given that many of your tax documents include your complete Social Security Number, our office would prefer that you use option 4, Secure Portal, to deliver documents to us.
o Secure Portal: A secure portal can be set up by our firm to allow you to upload documents to us and for us to electronically deliver your returns for review and signature. If you would like us to create a secure portal for you, please let us know.
- If you wish to meet with us, we ask that you call and schedule an appointment with us. At this time, we are discouraging “in-person” meetings because of more recent developments reporting a potentially rapid spread of the virus. We are having meetings by telephone, or via teleconference using FaceTime or Skype if you prefer. For those with computer access, copies of documents needed for discussion can be sent by email or uploaded to a secure portal (see above).
- Payment can conveniently be made by calling in your credit card information (864-233-4163) or by making your payment by electronic check, or credit or debit card at our website: www .cpawork4u.com .
- If you really feel an appointment in person is necessary, we can either schedule the meeting in the conference room and sit at each end of the table to accommodate the social distancing that is recommended by the CDC, or we can request an extension of time to file your returns and meet once the CDC announces a return to normalcy.
Understanding the risk:
- This is a rapidly evolving situation, and as stated above, we are monitoring reports from the
CDC and other health agencies to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the spread of the coronavirus.
- We have frequent communications with our employees, which include instructing them to stay home if they feel sick, how to recognize COVID-19 and its symptoms, the benefits of social distancing, and reminders about proper hygiene and other mitigation strategies.
- Our firm is also prepared in the event we need to operate from outside of our office with the necessary equipment, as well as backup systems and technical support, that will allow our workforce to work remotely in compliance with our Disaster Recovery Plan and other policies.
We remain committed to maintaining our firm’s quality control standards.
As recently as Tuesday the IRS and the State of South Carolina announced they are allowing for some extensions of filing and payment deadlines past April15, 2020. We await final details regarding these extensions of time but assure you that we stay current on all new tax and tax deadline developments.
So to reiterate:
Whether you have yet to bring your tax documents to our office for tax preparation or have already filed your return, our office is open and working full time to help with your tax and financial needs. We continue to accept new clients as well. We believe that any taxpayer who is to receive a refund will probably need to receive it as soon as possible.
Our top priorities are the health and safety of our employees and clients. We will continue to monitor guidance from health experts and government recommendations, and will do our very best to maintain the quality and timeliness of our services to you. We appreciate your flexibility and support during this time, and our thoughts remain with everyone affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding tax preparation, please do not hesitate to give our office a call.
Renita M. Owens, CPA