The partial government shutdown has some tax pros and their clients wondering what it means for tax season. We wanted to address a few common questions that you or your clients may have.
The IRS Will Accept E-Filed Tax Returns on Jan. 28
Despite the partial government shutdown, the IRS announced that they will begin accepting and processing individual tax returns on Jan. 28, 2019. Read more about this announcement on IRS.gov.
The IRS Plans to Issue Refunds as Scheduled
In addition, the IRS announced recently that refunds would go out even if a partial government shutdown persisted. Please remember, it can take up to 21 days for your clients to get a refund from the IRS after you file the return.
EFIN Application Processing Is Affected
Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) application processing has been affected by the partial government shutdown, and the IRS is unable to provide the same level of service as it would when fully staffed. This is subject to change when IRS resources and staffing are increased for filing season.
Some IRS Operations Remain Limited
In addition, the IRS announced on Jan. 15 that while some of its operations will be operating as normal, others will be limited during the appropriations lapse:
- The IRS processes for refund fraud detection and ID theft prevention will continue to operate as normal.
- Automated systems, such as Where’s My Refund, will remain operational.
- While in-person assistance locations will remain closed, IRS will be bringing staff back to answer phones, but at a reduced level that may increase wait times.
Intuit® ProConnect™ Has You Covered
Intuit ProConnect Tax Online, Lacerte® and ProSeries® are available for tax year 2018. Tax professionals can begin preparing their clients’ tax returns now, and ProConnect software will be ready to e-file returns for transmission to the IRS and States once they begin accepting e-file on Jan. 28.
For tax professionals who have questions about what new tax laws mean for them, ProConnect offers a Tax Reform Resource Center with calculators, infographics and other information.
Editor’s note: This article was updated on Jan. 7, 2019, with information from the IRS about the e-file open date, and again on Jan. 16, 2019, with information about further IRS operations.