Did the Government Shutdown Affect My Taxes?

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From December 22nd, 2018 to January 25th, 2019, the United States experienced a partial government shutdown. Lasting 35 days, it was the longest of its kind in our country’s history and disrupted multiple federal agencies, including the IRS, who temporarily laid off many of its employees and suffered interruptions and delays in many other services. Due to this situation, you might be asking yourself “Did the government shutdown affect my taxes?”As the trusted firm providing small business accounting services throughout Philadelphia, Brennan & Company CPA, PC is your source for everything tax-related, from filing your returns to information on audits. We understand that you might be concerned about how this shutdown may potentially impact your taxes, so let’s take a look at everything you need to know.


The IRS Furlough

Although more than 80% of IRS employees were furloughed during the shutdown, the agency did not close entirely. This is a contrast from previous shutdowns, where the IRS was not open to issue refunds. During this most recent shutdown, the IRS insisted that tax season would still begin on time on January 28th. In fact, the agency even recalled some furloughed employees, without pay, to prepare for the upcoming season.


Expect Some Disruptions Throughout the Tax Season

If you have any questions about your return and you want to speak to an IRS employee over the phone, you may need to delay filing for a period. Because the IRS had a reduced staff over the shutdown, they had a diminished capacity to answer phone queries, and not everyone who called them was able to receive an answer. Unfortunately, this reduction in call capacity will continue into tax season. This can be especially concerning for individuals with questions about new tax rules.


The Bottom Line

The simple answer is that the IRS insists that there will be no impact and the shutdown will not affect your tax refund. Additionally, they are predicting that you will still get your refund according to the same refund schedule, available on their website. If you would like to track your refund, use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool from the IRS site. Within 48 hours, you should receive the status of your return. To prevent other delays to your refund, the IRS also recommends that you e-file and elect for direct deposit of any refund.

If you have any questions, or are facing a complicated tax situation, you can ask the experts here at Brennan & Company CPA, PC. We can provide you with the professional advice and guidance you need to navigate the tax process.

For more information on your taxes, or for our bookkeeping services for small businesses in Philadelphia, call us today at 215-951-5585.