Tax Season 2019 Survival Guide

Tax Season 2019 is primed to be a tax season to remember for all who are involved with taxes in any way. In addition to the fact that the Internal Revenue Service is coming back from the effects of a 35-day government shutdown, its workers must process the first tax returns since the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Taxpayers and tax preparers will also be faced with applying the provisions of this major piece of tax legislation for the first time. Outlined below are a few of the circumstances that will make for an interesting few months in the area of taxes!

·        New Form 1040

The IRS has introduced a new Form 1040 which will be used for the first time during the current filing season. This new Form 1040 will replace the old Form 1040 as well as Forms 1040A and 1040EZ. It includes six additional schedules in addition to the old Schedules A, B, C, D. E and F.

·        Communication Backlog

Due the fact that IRS fax systems, phone lines and manned taxpayer assistance centers were closed for over a month, many taxpayers were left with unanswered questions about the implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the newly revised Form 1040 and a multitude of other issues. And, although the agency is now operating at full capacity, the backlog created by the shutdown is expected to impede current channels of communication. In addition, the IRS reportedly accumulated over five million pieces of mail during the time it was shut down.

·        Rescheduling of Appointments

All IRS appointments and hearings that were scheduled during the government shutdown must be rescheduled now that the agency is operating at full capacity. However, because of the length of time that the IRS was closed, there is a significant backlog in this area. This means that projected wait times for rescheduling appointments might be quite lengthy.

·        Refunds

Tax refunds are expected to be issued on about the same schedule that they have been issued in previous years. Refund amounts, however, may be affected by the impact of the provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Although it is estimated that approximately 95% of all taxpayers received some sort of tax cut, no one knows for sure how these cuts will impact tax refund amounts.

·        United States Tax Court

The United States Tax Court resumed full operations on Monday, January 28th following the end of the government shutdown. However, due to the length of time that operations were suspended, taxpayers who had dealings with the Court may experience certain problems. For example, the IRS has said that, although deadlines for filing appeals and petitions were not extended during the shutdown, mail sent to the Court during this time period may have been returned. If this is case, the Court advises the taxpayer to resend the document and include proof of the mailing date for the first attempt. In addition, the agency has said that it will review penalty assessments issued for back tax balances that were being disputed in Tax Court cases that were pending during the shutdown. Depending on the outcome of the review, they may then request a penalty abatement.

·        Filing Deadlines

Tax filing deadlines were not affected by the recent government shutdown and remain as follows:

January 28th – Official opening of tax filing season

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

February 15th – Paper filing deadline for Forms 1096 and Forms 1099-MISC Copy B

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

April 1st Electronic filing deadline for Forms 1096 and Forms 1099-MISC Copy B

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

 The licensed accountants and bookkeepers at Las Vegas Bookkeeping have the knowledge and expertise to help your business navigate Tax Season 2019 without a hitch or a hiccup. So don’t wait! Contact us by email at tina@lasvegasbookkeeping.com or by phone at (702) 945-2757 or to receive a free, no obligation consultation. Get a jump start on Tax Season 2019 by contacting the professionals at Las Vegas Bookkeeping today!