Filing Taxes During a Government Shutdown
Benjamin Franklin once wrote that there was nothing certain in life but death and taxes. Because taxes are the fuel that runs our government, even when the government shuts down taxes are due. Whether you’re expecting a refund or owe the Internal Revenue Service, you may be a little unnerved about tax preparation during the US government shutdown.
Conflicting information and the uncertainty of what the refund process entails during the shutdown may result in some putting off filing their taxes or filing taxes incorrectly in a mad rush to get them in to avoid further delays. Whatever the case may be for you, it’s important to take tax preparation during a government shutdown just as seriously as you do during any other tax season. Seeking the advice of a qualified tax preparer can help alleviate some of the stress of tax preparation, especially during a government shutdown.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect when filing your taxes during a government shutdown and the steps that you can take to bypass avoidable delays to ensure that your refund is processed correctly.
What does the government shutdown mean for tax preparation?
If you’re expecting a tax refund you may be worried about receiving your refund during or after a government shutdown. Typically, during a go,vernment shutdown the Internal Revenue Service does not issue refunds. This is due to the IRS operating with fewer employees and resources. Consequentially, during a government shutdown taxes are still due.
The current US government shutdown is historic in how long it has lasted. This shutdown has the IRS operating with less than 13 percent of it’s workers. Despite refunds traditionally not going out during a shutdown and the lack of IRS workers available to process refunds, the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget has assured the public that refunds will be issued.
This is good news for those expecting a refund but the process will not go exactly as it would if the government was not shutdown. With the lack of workers and backlog of taxes to process, refunds will be delayed. Even after the government is up and running again with a full staff, refunds may still be delayed as IRS workers rush to process their backlog of work.
The deadline for filing taxes has not changed due to the shutdown and reduction of IRS services. The due date remains at April 15, 2019, for the 2019 filing season.
What you can do about it?
If you are expecting a refund this tax seasons then hearing that despite the government shutdown refunds will be issued will be good news. While the news that these refunds may be delayed might be unpleasant, there are some steps you can take to make the process easier. Filing your taxes as soon as possible will help secure your place in the processing que, reducing your wait time.
Whether you file your taxes electronically or use paper forms, your taxes will still be processed, however, filing your taxes electronically can delay your wait time. Electronic tax returns can be automatically processed via computer. This prevents the need for use of an IRS service center, expediting your return.
When filing paper tax returns during a government shutdown it’s important to note that some services are placed on hold. If your return requires auditing, doesn’t contain a payment, or you have a 1040x amended tax return your tax processing may be put on hold until the shutdown has ended. Filing electronically will be your best option in this case.
Because there are certain IRS services that are not available during a government shutdown, it’s doubly important to make sure your tax returns are filled out and filed correctly. Imagine your refund being delayed beyond the unavoidable delays of a shutdown because your forms were not filed correctly. Most people receiving a return have already budgeted their funds, so further delays could be stressful.
Seeking the assistance of a qualified tax preparation professional will help ensure that your taxes are properly filed and reduce delays. Nexus United is capable and prepared to help you start the refund process during this shutdown. Nexus United has tax preparation professionals who can even assist after the shutdown is over. Nexus United will be able to calculate and file your electronic of paper tax returns, taking some of the pressure off of you during this government shutdown and after.
Tax preparation during or directly after a government shutdown doesn’t have to be a stressful event. Arming yourself with the facts of what occurs during a shutdown and knowing steps that you can take to make the process easier will put you ahead of the curve. File your taxes as soon as possible, file electronically, and seek the aid of a professional tax preparer today.