Recovery Rebates for Individuals

The IRS has updated guidance related to the rebates under the CARES Act. Payments will be made initially based on a qualifying individual’s most recently filed tax return (2018 or 2019). The payment is an advance on a refundable credit on your 2020 return. Individuals who otherwise do not qualify for the credit based on phase out limits on their 2018 or 2019 return may find that income on their 2020 return results in receiving the rebate when they file in 2021.

Rebates equal $1,200 per qualifying individual plus $500 for each qualifying child (generally children under 17 who qualify for the child tax credit). Phase outs begin when AGI exceeds: $75,000 for individuals; $112,500 for head of household; and $150,000 for joint filers.

Additional information is available at the IRS website including updates for how to change your direct deposit information or payment method.

Maine Tax Filing Deadline Extended

Gov. Janet Mills said Thursday that Maine’s income tax return filing deadline will be extended to July 15, 2020. The new deadline applies to any final and estimated Maine income tax payments that were due by April 15th. Any failure-to-pay penalties and interest will be abated for the period of April 16 through July 15.

The links below are regarding the CARES Act, H.R. 748:

As changes are happening quickly, we will update you with relevant information as it becomes available. We wish health and safety during this time, and know we will get through this!

COVID-19 Update

In our continuous effort to keep Smith & Associates employees and clients safe and healthy, we are closing our office to the public until further notice. We will communicate with clients via email, phone, fax, and the United States Postal Service. We provide the opportunity to submit and retrieve documents through a personalized secure client portal. If you don’t already have access to a portal but would like to, please e-mail or call for further instructions. We will be utilizing Zoom web conferencing services or phone calls as an alternative to in person meetings. Rest assured; we are working to complete tax returns as quickly as possible and anticipate, at this point, that we will be able to accommodate completing these by the April 15th for those of you who have submitted documentation by our March 20th deadline. Auditing and accounting services are also moving forward with little delay; however, we will be working to find solutions to our standard onsite visit for the time being. As everyone is adapting to this, we are also learning to adapt, and we truly appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.

You may find the following link to the AICPA’s COVID-19 Resource Center page interesting and helpful.


As we continue to monitor the rapidly unfolding COVID-19 developments, we are closely following the direction of federal, state, and local authorities and other health experts and trusted advisors. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we are responding to new developments, with the health and well-being of our employees and clients as our top priority.

In an effort to do our part of trying to slow the spread of the virus we are implementing the following for the 2020 filing season:

Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Smith & Associates will postpone all in person client meetings until further notice. We will offer meetings via telephone as we continue to prepare tax returns for the anticipated deadline.

Returns will be mailed to clients when they are completed rather than being picked up or they will be sent via our online platforms if the client requests.

Clients are encouraged to communicate with us through email or phone with any questions. Monica our Administrative Manager will respond to emails within 24-48 hours. 

2019 NEPR Newsletter

In This Issue

  • The Risk within Your Audit Risk Assessment
  • PRIMA Update
  • AE Benchmark Reporting
  • Not Documented, Not Done
  • Enhancements to Reviewer Search
  • Peer Review Process in PRIMA
  • Analytical Procedures in a Review Engagement
  • Administrative FAQs
  • Becoming a Peer Reviewer
  • Accessing Help in PRIMA
  • PRIMA Help Articles


We are pleased to announce that Lori Aliberti has joined the Smith & Associates Team as of July 1, 2019 as our Senior Tax Associate!

Lori is an Enrolled Agent that comes to us from Poulin Financial Services, LLC, PA., with a career spanning over 25 years.  Her client engagements include small businesses, non-profit organizations, homeowner associations, estates, trusts and individuals.

Lori has an Associates Degree in Business Administration and Accounting, and holds many additional certifications.

Please visit our About Us section of the Smith & Associates, CPAs website to learn more about Lori and the rest of the team!

IRS provides penalty relief for underpayment of 2018 individual taxes

The IRS has announced that it is waiving the estimated tax penalty for many taxpayers whose 2018 federal income tax withholding and estimated tax payments fell short of their total tax liability for the year. The relief, announced in IR-2019-03, is prompted by changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). This waiver covers taxpayers whose total withholding and estimated tax payments are equal to or greater than 85% of their taxes owed. For waiver purposes only, this new relief lowers the 90 percent threshold to 85 percent. This means that a taxpayer will not owe a penalty if they paid at least 85 percent of their total 2018 tax liability. If the taxpayer paid less than 85 percent then they are not eligible for the waiver and the penalty will be calculated as it normally would be using the 90 percent threshold. Refer to Notice 2019-11 for further details. The waiver computation will be integrated into a future update of UltraTax/1040 including the revised Form 2210 once released by the IRS.

2018 Tax Season Deadlines and Reminders

In order to help compile complete and accurate information to complete your return, here are some tips for an efficient tax return experience.

MUST receive prior to beginning-
• Organizer/Questionnaire: All questions must be answered “yes or no”. Please provide clarifying information where applicable.
• Signed Engagement Letter
• Reconciled QuickBooks bank accounts and password, if applicable
Commonly omitted items-
• K-1’s for publicly traded partnerships
• Cost basis for non-covered securities sold during the year
• Record of quarterly estimated payments made to Federal and State taxing authorities including dates and amounts *Don’t forget Q4 is paid in January 2019*
• Estimated value of donated items. If more than $500 please provide receipts
• Changes to contact information and dependents