Q & A With Debbie Brady

Congratulations to Debbie on her recent promotion! Now is a great time to get to know her and gain better insight into who she is, what she does and how she approaches work.

Q & A With Debbie Brady

Meet Our New Individual Tax Manager, Debbie Brady, CPA

Question: Debbie, tell us a bit about yourself and your new position.

Answer: I’ve been at Orcutt & Co. for about 11 years, and have over 20 years experience in accounting and tax engagement. My experience has been in both the private sector and public accounting. So I have a pretty diverse, well-rounded sense of tax preparation.

Q: What initially drew you to accounting—particularly tax management?

A: I always wanted to be an accountant and started in the audit field, later focusing on tax. The organized nature of accounting drew me in, as well as helping clients understand tax—a foreign concept, to some—in an ever-changing world.

Q: Say a bit more about clients and organizational relationships, i.e., their value and importance, especially at Orcutt & Company.

A: I think most everyone wants an accounting firm they can trust. That’s why our clients choose Orcutt: they depend on our professional competence and integrity. After all, there are a lot of firms that prepare tax returns. At Orcutt & Co., we want a relationship with our clients; to truly be a valued business partner.

For individual clients, partnering can mean helping them through marriage, divorce, children, education, investing, business ownership and even death. These are the things that keep people up at night. And having someone they trust with these issues is important.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job? Why?

This is a hard one. I like interacting with my clients, and I like the work environment here. The people at Orcutt are some of the best I have ever worked with! They genuinely care and want to help others.

Q: Any other thoughts, i.e., what’s trending in tax management?

A: We will soon have a new administration in Washington. I think the biggest questions on people’s minds are: “What will change, and how is it going to affect me?” Staying on top of those changes, and how they will directly affect our clients, is my job.

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Should I Extend?

What should I know about a “Tax Extension?”

You can request an “extension” of time to file your income tax returns by filing a form with the IRS. Sometimes, copies of this form must also be filed with a state or city.

An extension does not give you additional time to pay the tax. You need to estimate the balance due and make a payment by the due date. Amounts paid after the due date are subject to interest and penalties.

If you are contributing to your Health Savings Account (H.S.A.) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) you must make these contributions by the original return due date, April 15.

When individuals make estimated tax payments, the first payment of the New Year is also due on April 15. In most cases we ask clients to make their extension payment and the first quarter estimated tax payment together.

How much more time do I have, if I request an extension?

The due date for most returns is extended six months. That is: an individual 1040, due April 15, would be due October 15 if extended. Some extensions are due earlier. Ask your tax preparer about your specific return.

Don’t let this extra time slip away. Get your documents to us quickly, so we can give your return adequate attention. There is no second extension. We must have all your information by September 1 to meet the October 15 deadline. In some cases, we need the information in early summer.

If you are making estimated tax payments, it’s good practice to complete your return before the second payment is due, June 15.

Why are you recommending an extension?

In many cases, you may still be waiting for additional information (i.e., corrected 1099s, or Schedule K-1s,) to complete your return. Many financial institutions don’t finalize their tax reports until March. As the last people in line, this compressed time frame means we need additional time.

For some clients the complexity of certain transactions or tabulation of activities requires additional time.

In general, our time is limited when information is received late from numerous clients. We need to balance our workload to ensure all clients get the attention they need, so we can prepare complete and accurate returns.

Am I more likely to be audited if I extend?

Extending the time to file will not increase your likelihood of being audited. Rushing and filing an incomplete or erroneous return invites an audit. It is better to extend, so you have time to review the finished return carefully before submitting it to the IRS.

Are there benefits to extending my tax return?

It’s often less expensive, and less stressful, to file an extension rather than file an erroneous return, which must be amended later. If the information you provide us is incomplete, we must charge additional fees to prepare an amendment.

The extension may give you additional time for retirement planning opportunities or funding certain types of retirement plans. However, IRA contributions and Health Savings Account contributions must be made by the original filing deadline, April 15.

For more information, check out Tax Extension FAQs.