The Shutdown’s Impact On Your Tax Filing

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Are you ready for tax season?  The federal government may actually not be. 

Last week — thousands of IRS employees were called back to work so they could handle tax returns and send out refunds. On Wednesday, several hundred of them got permission to stay off the job because of financial hardship.

So how does this effect your taxes and refunds? We stopped by Ness Tax and Bookkeeping for more insight into how the government shutdown, and new tax codes, could impact your return this year.

It’s been 33 days since this partial shutdown began. Now, people who don’t even work for the government are getting nervous about their own money. 

“Yes, everybody has heard about the government shutdown and many are confused and believe they perhaps won’t get their refund,” said Ness.  

So, will they? The answer is a little complicated.

There’s a report this week, which says only 57-percent of IRS workers are showing up to work. That has some concerned the tax filing process will be slowed down.

However, Tim Ness with Ness Tax and Bookkeeping says President Trump and the Treasury Department have guaranteed tax returns will be on time.

“It could impact electronic filing, and of course some of the other work at the IRS. But just this past Monday, about 36,000 additional workers were added to the staff at the Internal Revenue Service. So a lot of employees are reporting to work for the first time and hopefully that will carry through until the end of the filing season,” said Ness.

On top of all this, the U.S. has been through the biggest tax change in decades this past year with the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Ness says even the form looks different.

“So many people are confused about that, and we’re here to help if you want to give us a call. We’ll walk you through it or set an appointment for them,” said Ness. 

Ness says people who file on their own usually call the IRS for help when dealing with new tax codes, but because of the shutdown those lines are currently down. The first day of electronic filing is scheduled for January 28.

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