With the recent government shutdown and the opening of the 2019 tax season coming soon, did you wonder how that would affect the filing of your 2018 taxes? Maybe, or maybe not. Since no one knows for sure when the government will re-open, here’s what you need to know.

An IRS Contingency Plan and a Promising Announcement

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. In previous contingency plans, the IRS would accept tax returns during the filing season, but refunds would be delayed until the government was funded.

However, an announcement late Monday, January 7th, from the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget said refunds will still be sent out during a shutdown. This information has the IRS planning to recall a portion of workers who have been furloughed during the shutdown to process tax returns. The IRS intends to offer more details when it releases its updated shutdown contingency plan in the coming days.

A Tax Filing Season for the (Accounting) Books

An added complication to the shutdown is the fact that this year is already set to be a unique filing year since it is the first year to incorporate the changes to the tax code under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). However, with the promise of the IRS being able to process tax returns as soon as the early filing date of January 28, 2019—here are a few things you can be doing to ease the process:

Gather tax relevant documents: Gather documents as you receive them, such as W-2s from your employer. Collect and organize, receipts you plan to use to claim as potential deductions.

Pull out old returns: Take a look over your previous tax return to jog your memory on what you did last year, as far as credits you claimed and deductions you made. This may help you determine some key changes in your life that may affect your taxes, i.e. marriage, divorce, a new house, a new baby, or even retirement.

Meet with you CPA: It’s never a bad idea to meet with your CPA ahead of a tax filing season, but especially not a bad idea when there have been changes to the tax code. Your CPA will have more insight into what further documents you may need this filing season.

Visit Your Knoxville, TN, CPA

The hope is the government will fully open soon and resume working but, if that is not the case, rest assured we will continue to work on and file your 2018 taxes in a timely manner that meets your tax deadlines despite a government shutdown. Just a reminder that if you haven’t yet received your 2019 personal engagement letter or services engagement for your business or have not returned a signed copy to us, please contact us TODAY so we can get your engagement processed and on file.

If you have any questions or concerns about the 2019 filing season, please feel free to contact us online or by phone at 865-212-4867.