Effect of Government Shutdown on Tax Filing and Tax Refunds

With the government shutdown in effect during the tax filing season, there is a lot of misinformation regarding the filing of income tax returns and the issuance of tax refunds. I thought it was important that you get the right information .

Late on January 7 the IRS issued an announcement providing that:

1.   The IRS will begin processing tax returns on January 28.

2.   The IRS will provide refunds to taxpayers.

The IRS is taking the position that despite the government shutdown and the lapse of a general appropriation, it has the authority under the US Code to issue tax refunds through a permanent and indefinite appropriation.

In the past, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had directed the IRS not to issue refunds during a lapse in government funding. However, in light of the current situation the Department of the Treasury requested that OMB review the relevant legal provisions. OMB has done so and has concluded that the IRS may pay tax refunds during a lapse in funding.

The IRS plans to recall to work a significant portion of its furloughed workforce.

The IRS is expected to provide additional details in a “Lapsed Appropriations Contingency Plan” which is expected to be released in the coming days.

Regardless of the government shutdown tax returns are due on April 15, 2019. The last estimated payment for 2018 income taxes is due January 15, 2019.

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