In a news release issued Jan. 7, 2019, the IRS confirmed that the tax filing season would begin Jan. 28, despite the current federal government shutdown, due to a lapse in federal funding.
Currently, the IRS is operating with approximately only 12 percent of its workforce, providing only limited services. With the individual tax filing season beginning soon, the IRS is under pressure to issue contingencies for filing season operations during a government shutdown. Although IRS contingency plans are anticipated soon, the Service confirmed that the filing season would begin and that the IRS would issue refunds.
The IRS’s e-filing system for individual tax returns will be open on Jan. 28. The IRS will accept and process the returns once the filing season begin. To accomplish this task, the IRS will recall a significant portion of its currently furloughed workforce. The timing of the individual e-file system’s opening should occur on a date similar to past years.
During previous government shutdowns, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directed the IRS not to pay refunds during a lapse in funding and resulting government shutdown. However, the IRS notice states that the OMB reviewed the relevant law at the request of The Department of Treasury, and concluded that the IRS may pay refunds during the lapse.
RSM US LLP tax professionals are keeping abreast of the developments in Washington, D.C., and are prepared to help clients navigate the filing season.