Tax Filing When the Government Is Shutdown

IRS employees returned to work on January 28, 2019, after a lengthy government shutdown. As you can imagine, they will be trying to play catch up just as they enter their busiest time of the year. As a taxpayer, you may have concerns or questions about handling your tax returns should another shutdown occur before April 15, 2019. If another shutdown does occur, keep in mind that there will be delays to either 1. process a current return or 2. tend to past taxpayer matters that remain unsettled.

Who Should Try to File As Soon As Possible?

Taxpayers who expect a refund will likely want to file as early as possible. The quickest way to get your refund is to electronically file your return and to have the refund directly deposited to your bank account. Per Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, the law provides for interest on your refund if it is not paid within 45 days of the date you filed your return.

Who Should Not Be Concerned About Delays?

Taxpayers who plan to owe or who will apply the refund to the following tax year have less reason to file early. All payments will still be due as per federal tax law. Failure to pay and failure to file penalties will still be charged.

Were You in the Process of Requesting an Installment Agreement?

Per the IRS, if you were in the process of working towards an installment agreement, a revenue officer should be re-establishing contact to work with you towards a resolution of your tax account issue.

Did You Receive A Tax Notice for a Prior Year Return?

Per the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, you have the right to challenge the IRS’s position, and should. Perhaps they’ve made a mistake or are missing information that can be provided in writing. It will likely take more time and effort to resolve issues. Stay proactive and do not let a notice go unanswered. Have your tax advisor review the notice and respond immediately.

Was Your Passport Application Denied Because of Delinquent Tax Debt?

Per the IRS, contact the IRS at 1-855-519-4965 (international callers: 1-267-941-1004) to make arrangements to resolve your tax debt. The IRS must assess and collect additional taxes and penalties at the partner level rather than the partnership level.

Susan A. Moussi

Susan A. Moussi, CPA, CFP®, CDFA SMD Tax & Divorce Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. Phone: 614.429.4172