At DGC, we are committed to keeping our clients updated on relevant topics that could impact their tax situation.
We want you to know that DGC’s approach remains unaffected during the government shutdown. Our firm will continue to work closely with our clients, ensuring that their tax filings are handled accurately and efficiently. We encourage our clients to send in their tax information as soon as received and adhere to the usual deadlines.
Audits and notices that were in process before the government shutdown are now, in many cases, on hold. DGC will continue to advise clients who are in these situations.
The IRS has announced that it will begin accepting paper and electronic tax returns for the 2018 tax year on January 28, but much remains to be seen about how the ongoing shutdown of the federal government will affect this year’s filings. Although the Trump administration has stated that the IRS will pay refunds during the closure, it’s not clear how quickly such refunds can be processed.
The implementation of the federal tax overhaul could further complicate matters for taxpayers. The 2018 tax year is the first to be subject to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which brought sweeping changes to the tax code, as well as new tax forms. Various TCJA implementation activities, such as the development of new publications and instructions, will continue because they’re funded by earlier appropriations legislation.
Be aware that taxpayers and their accountants may not be able to contact the IRS with questions. When the IRS’s main number on January 9 was called, this recorded message was received: “Live telephone assistance is not available at this time. Normal operations will resume as soon as possible.” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has stated that the IRS will call back enough employees to work to answer 60% to 70% of phone calls seeking tax assistance during this shutdown, which could lead to widespread taxpayer frustration.
Regardless of how IRS operations proceed, taxpayers still need to comply with the filing deadlines. Individual taxpayers in every state but Maine and Massachusetts must file by April 15, 2019; filers in those two states have until April 17, 2019. Individuals who obtain a filing extension have until October 15, 2019, to file their returns but should pay the taxes owed by the April deadline to avoid penalties.
The circumstances surrounding the government shutdown can change quickly, and DGC will monitor this closely. If you have any questions, please reach out to a member of your DGC client service team or call 781-937-5300.
UPDATE: On January 15th, the IRS posted an update on their website concerning the 2019 tax filing season. To read the release, click here.