The Government Shutdown and Tax Season 2019

Since the IRS is a government agency, the ongoing government shutdown has had, and will continue to have, a significant effect on the services it offers taxpayers. While start dates and filing deadlines have not been pushed back, other agency functions have been reduced or curtailed altogether. With this in mind, the following are a few things taxpayers should know as they move forward into Tax Season 2019.

1)      Start Dates and Tax Filing Deadlines

At this point, the IRS has announced that all previously set 2019 start dates and filing deadlines will remain unchanged and are as follows:

·        January 28th – Official start date of tax filing season

·        January 31st – Filing deadline for W-2s and Forms 1099-MISC Copy A with Nonemployee Compensation

·        February 15th – Filing deadline for Forms 1096 and 1099-MISC Copy B

(paper filing)

·        March 15th – Filing deadline for Partnership returns (Form 1065) and S-Corporation returns (Form 1120-S).

·        April 1st Filing deadline for Forms 1096 and 1099-MISC Copy B

(electronic filing)

·        April 15th – Filing deadline and tax extension request deadline for personal tax returns (April 17th for residents in Maine or Massachusetts) and corporate tax returns

2)     United States Tax Court

The United States Tax Court was officially closed on December 28, 2018 and will remain closed until further notice from the IRS. This means that all disputes and petitions that would normally be brought before this court will be backlogged until the shutdown is over.

3)     Tax Refunds

Although the IRS originally announced that income tax refunds would not be processed during the government shutdown, they have recently amended this statement to say that the tax refund process will not be interrupted. This change comes as a result of a policy statement issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget saying that the IRS will issue tax refunds even if the shutdown continues into tax filing season.

4)     Collections

There will be no non-automated collection activity during the shutdown. Automated collection activity will proceed without interruption. Although this may be good news for some delinquent taxpayers, automated tax debt collection will continue uninterrupeted.

5)     Audit Examinations

Audit examinations will not take place during the government shutdown although some exceptions may apply.

6)     Transcript Requests

As of January 2, 2019, the IRS began processing transcript requests made through the Income Verification Express Service, a program used by lending institutions to verify a borrower’s income. Prior to this date, taxpayers had no way of obtaining the routine income documentation necessary for financing or refinancing mortgages or obtaining other types of loans. Although this service is now up and running in spite of the government shutdown, the IRS has stated that transcript requests might take longer than the standard 72 hours to process.

The licensed accountants and bookkeepers at Las Vegas Bookkeeping are prepared to help your business meet all of its tax obligations during, and in spite, of the government shutdown! Although some IRS functions have been affected, our licensed bookkeepers and accountants know how to navigate the system so that your business does not miss a beat. So don’t wait! Contact the professionals at Las Vegas Bookkeeping today to get your 2019 tax affairs underway. Email us at tina@lasvegasbookkeeping.com or call us at (702) 945-2757 to receive a free, no obligation consultation.