March 17, 2020
At Evenhouse, the health and safety of our staff, as well as our clients, is a top priority. We, like you, have been closely monitoring new developments regarding COVID-19 which seem to be changing daily, if not hourly. While this is obviously a continually changing situation, we are taking the following precautionary measures:
Safe Work Environment
We have advised all staff that if they are not feeling well in any way or have interacted with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 to not come into the office and to follow the directions of local public health authorities. We are also reminding staff of mitigation strategies. Our office building itself has implemented additional measures to focus on a clean environment and those measures extend to our office space as well. The measures will continue to adapt as circumstances change.
We are suspending all face to face meetings both in our office and at client offices from now until April 15. This was a very difficult decision to make but was ultimately made with both staff and clients in mind. For our staff, it was important to limit the amount of individuals coming in to the office. It is impossible to know who everyone has been in contact with and it could only take one person being exposed to the virus to shut down the entire office. The impact of this would be significantly detrimental to both our staff and their families who rely on us for their well-being, and for our clients who rely on us to complete their work timely and accurately. For our clients, your health and safety is a priority as well, and we believe limiting your exposure to others during this time protects you and your family. Additionally, it continues to allow us to focus on our work for you and to meet the deadlines of tax season.
Tax Return Processing and Customer Service
Our offices will remain open to our staff at this time. Our staff has the capability to work remotely and has had the ability to do this securely for some time. There may be staff that work remotely more frequently over the next several weeks as a result of health concerns. We will have the ability to receive documents from you electronically through our secure portal system, via the mail or by dropping it off at our office. We will use appropriate levels of precaution with physical documents received at our office. We will continue to provide you with completed copies of your tax returns electronically or in the mail. We plan to coordinate review of the returns with you and will replace the face to face meetings with teleconferences, video conferences and other similar channels. We will strive to make this working environment as seamless as possible.
Thank you for your understanding, flexibility and support regarding this matter. Please reach out to your Evenhouse contact at any point with questions or concerns on this and we will get back to you as quickly as possible. We are anticipating further announcements and guidance from government authorities on their response to COVID-19 and will share these insights and any updates to our procedures as soon as possible. Based on efforts from Congress and the AICPA, it appears likely that the Treasury Department and IRS will announce an extension of the April 15 tax deadline and a waiver of penalties and interest for most taxpayers, possibly as early as this week. We will keep you updated as we receive more information regarding this.
Randal A Gartman, CPA • David S Meyer, CPA • Timothy J Vande Werken, CPA