I don’t know tax law at all, but it appears that companies are required to put out statements of earnings in January. They do so, but judging by our experience, the level of accuracy is not very high. Last Saturday we received an updated statement that requires us to revise our taxes. As far as I know, there is no penalty for companies who come out with late statements. There is a penalty for those who pay the taxes and pay someone to prepare the taxes. It takes time to make the changes, and we pay for that time.
We can’t have our accountant do our taxes in the last minute, because he has too many clients in the same boat. He did have a suggestion that seems reasonable. If a statement is mailed out after February 15th, the changes go on next year’s taxes. People could prepare their taxes promptly and not worry about the late changes. If the government loses money because of this, perhaps companies can be fined for putting out educated guesses instead of correct statements in January.