The IRS is Conducting Business as Usual During Government Shutdown

2/1/2019 | Written by: Selena Quintanilla, CRTP
News of a government shutdown in late December brought with it a lot of concerns. As time passed, and many government agencies and programs were placed on hold, taxpayers grew increasingly worried about how the shutdown would affect the filing of their 2018 taxes. More specifically, taxpayers worried that their returns wouldn't be accepted on time, subsequently delaying the issuance of tax refunds. This will not be the case. 
 
On Friday, January 25th, President Trump signed a bill to temporarily reopen the government, and the IRS began accepting tax returns as usual, on Monday, January 28th.

Prior to the reopening, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig made it clear that the agency would be processing returns and providing refunds as scheduled, despite the government shutdown. The IRS has summoned a significant portion of its employees from furlough to get the job done. 
 
“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. 
 
While taxpayers may be eager to submit their returns as soon as possible, please be advised that changes introduced under the TCJA of 2017 will be in full effect. Therefore, spending some extra time to verify entries, and confirming the validity of supporting documents, is strongly encouraged. 

Please keep in mind that in accord with the PATH Act tax returns claiming, either or both, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit will be issued no sooner than mid-February. The IRS explained that the rule applies to the entire refund amount, even if a portion of the refund is not related to these credits.
 
The filing deadlines for 2018 tax returns are as follows:
  •  Monday, April 15th, 2019, for most taxpayers. 
  • Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 for residents of Maine or Massachusetts.

**This extension is granted in observance of the Patriots’ Day holiday on April 15th in Maine and Massachusetts, and the Emancipation Day holiday on April 16th in the District of Columbia.