With the recent government shutdown and the opening of the 2018 tax season coming soon, did you wonder how that would affect the filing your 2017 taxes?  Maybe, or maybe not.  Thing is, a government shutdown would affect the IRS and its plan for tax filing season.  Luckily, the latest shutdown was over with a few days to spare before tax season opened. With another possible shutdown looming, here’s what you need to know.

During a shutdown, agencies can perform activities that have funding which doesn’t expire at the end of the fiscal year and perform activities that are permitted under law or deemed necessary.  Though you may not deem your taxes necessary, the government begs to differ.  Therefore, parts of the IRS can continue to function, and the IRS has a contingency plan in place for such instances.

Some functions that directly impact taxpayers and would typically be put on hold if the government shuts down:

  • Issuing of tax refunds would be on hold.
  • Processing of forms 1040X, amended returns would be on hold.
  • Non-automated collections would be on hold.
  • Audits or examinations would be on hold, although some exceptions may apply so if you are under audit during a shutdown, you need to be aware it may not affect your audit or examination.
  • Processing of non-disaster relief transcripts would be on hold.

However, some functions that directly impact taxpayers will typically continue under a government shutdown:

  • Processing of returns with payments
  • E-filing continues
  • Mailing of tax forms
  • Appeals—statutory deadlines will not be changed
  • Civil and criminal tax cases
  • Certain communications to taxpayers
  • gov—including access to filing tax returns and paying tax online

The hope is that the government will remain open and working, but if that is not the case we want you to be in the know of how you could be affected.  The government has never shut down during tax filing season before, so the lists above are also based on an IRS contingency plan which could always change.  Rest assured though, we will continue to work on and file your 2017 taxes in a timely manner that meets your tax deadlines despite a government shutdown.

If you have any questions or concerns about the 2018 filing season, please feel free to contact us HERE or by phone at 865-212-4867.