Shutdown shouldn’t affect taxes

Published 2:52 am Saturday, January 12, 2019

Even though the Internal Revenue Service is among the agencies not working during the partial government shutdown, local accountant Greg White said that people should not worry about their tax refunds being delayed.

“I haven’t tried to contact the IRS myself,” White said. “But I do have a client who tried to contact them today and they didn’t answer.”

The shutdown began on Dec. 22, which means the government has been closed for a record 21 days, the longest shutdown in history.

On Jan. 7, the IRS issued a press release stating, “Despite the government shutdown, the Internal Revenue Service today confirmed that it will process tax returns beginning January 28, 2019, and provide refunds to taxpayers as scheduled.”

“We are committed to ensuring that taxpayers receive their refunds notwithstanding the government shutdown. I appreciate the hard work of the employees and their commitment to the taxpayers during this period,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

White said that his busy tax season begins in February, and if the shutdown does last that long, it won’t affect his work rate.

“We are going to work regardless,” White said. “We are going to be working on processing returns because we don’t have the luxury of waiting. We will be working to file taxes and working on e-filing as soon as they open the door for that.”

He said that refunds should be received relatively timely despite the shutdown.

“People should receive their refunds relatively timely,” White said. “Certainly if they are experiencing increased call ins of people not working, then staffing might be adequate enough for processing as timely, but I think the effort will be to minimize the impact.”

According to the press release issued by the IRS, the agency will recall a significant portion of its workforce, currently furloughed as part of the government shutdown, to work.

Even if the shutdown lasts until the deadlines, White said people still need to send in their returns as if the government wasn’t shut down.

“People need to process them,” White said. “I would encourage them to process them on the same schedule they normally do.”

The filling deadline to submit 2018 tax returns is Mon., April 15, 2019.