Tax Season: Will the Shutdown Affect Your Filing?

Written by™ on behalf of Elliot S. Wiczer with Wiczer & Sheldon, LLC.

Tax Season: Will the Shutdown Affect Your Filing?

The good news is…. no. It will not. That’s a surprising answer given the fact that when a government shutdown occurs, it means all staff and employees working for the government—including the Internal Revenue Service—won’t be working at all. That’s typically the case. However….

The IRS Made a Recent Announcement Stating That Tax Season Will Still Commence on January 28

There was even mention of the ongoing government shutdown, hence authorities in the IRS are well aware of it. Yet that doesn’t seem to deter the necessity to provide hard workers their dues in taxes. In fact, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said that they are “committed to ensuring that taxpayers receive their refunds notwithstanding the government shutdown.” He also stated that he appreciated the hard work from employees currently going without pay just to ensure taxpayers receive their refunds.

It is, however, important to note that even during any government shutdown, back-pay is customary for government workers in the event all operations start back up. Recently, the President signed a bill authorizing back pay to federal employees affected by the shutdown. So it won’t harm much in the long run, but it will be an unfortunate inconvenience for many government workers.

The IRS, however, does attribute their insistence on this to the Constitution. Congress itself actually directed tax refund payments permanently according to 31 U.S.C. 1324. The IRS has full jurisdiction to continue despite shutdowns, which means that as a result, a large portion of the workforce will indeed return to work, ensuring all taxpayers receive their refunds in a timely manner.

As it stands, you’ll still have till April 15th to file your taxes. For those living in Maine or Massachusetts, your deadline will be April 17th. There will be no change, no delay, no additional stipulations, and no other laws to worry about. Plans will go accordingly like they do any other year, which should be great news for many, including companies filing taxes as well.

If You Have Questions About Tax Filings, It’s Important to Consult an Attorney

Can you, in fact, file earlier than the 28th of January? Possibly. Some software companies and accountants actually account for that. Simply do the research to determine whether that’s possible or not. However, it won’t mean you’ll receive your refund early. It won’t even mean your tax return will be filed early either. It simply means your tax return will be accepted early.

As always, consider electronic tax returns as they’re more efficient, plus you’ll receive your refunds much quicker. If, of course, you have more questions about deduction planning, quarterly tax returns and more, it’s important to get a consultation with a tax attorney immediately, because you don’t want the timeline to get ahead of you especially in the case of a government shutdown. Do your due diligence and approach the process actively, ensuring you take care of your financials appropriately.


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