Apple Growth Partners

What the Government Shutdown Means for Your Tax Return

By Michael Fink, CPA – Supervisor, Tax

Jan. 25, 2019, 3:25 P.M. – As President Trump has announced the government will be open for three-weeks, IRS employees may be returning. However, it is possible delays could still occur with the IRS toll-free hotline, as listed below.

Jan. 25, 2019, 9:30 A.M. — As the government shutdown approaches a record of 34 days, and with no end in sight, business owners may be wondering how the shutdown will impact their tax preparations. Our team of accountants have been closely following the latest news and developments throughout the shutdown and have prepared responses to frequently asked questions.

Does the government shutdown affect my tax refund?

Answer: No. The tax refund process is still working as normal unless it is delayed because IRS needs more information.

Do I still have to pay taxes before the filing deadline?

Answer: Yes. Paying taxes on time is obligated by the tax laws and has no effects from the government shutdown. The filing deadline for 2018 tax is March 15, 2019, for S-Corporations and Partnerships; April 15, 2019, for individuals and C-Corporations.

What tax services do I still have during the government shutdown?

Answer: Taxpayers are still able to file online. Automated tools, such as “Where’s My Refund”, are still available.

Are IRS employees still furloughed?

Answer: IRS has recalled 30,000 furloughed employees to handle the 2018 filing season, but many may not report due to a financial hardship exemption in their union contract.

What tax services are NOT available during the government shutdown?

Answer: Taxpayer Assistance Centers are closed during the shutdown; these offices allowed people to walk-in for filing assistance or to make payments.

What services will still be affected even after the government reopens?

Answer: IRS toll-free telephone assistant is not working during the government shutdown. All taxpayers and practitioners have been waiting to talk to the IRS agents on their tax issues or questions. Additionally, some employees may not return after the government reopens. The wait time for an agent to answer your call is expected to be longer than usual. Extended wait times can also be expected on electronic and paper correspondence.

How can I ensure my taxes have been filed during the shutdown?

Answer: Two ways to ensure quick receipt of your tax refund are to file electronically and request your refund be sent through direct deposit.

As always, Apple Growth Partners will assist clients and business owners through the tax season, regardless of the status of the government. If you have additional questions, please contact your trusted Apple Growth Partners advisor.