Even amid the federal shutdown, here’s one thing you can count on: The start of tax season.
The IRS has said it will begin receiving your 2018 tax returns on Monday, Jan. 28. The revenue agency also said that it would pay refunds to eligible tax payers.
How smooth the process will actually be remains to be seen.
For instance, the agency has called for more than half of its staff — about 46,000 people — to come back to work.
The IRS has also warned that its service may suffer during the shutdown. Filers seeking live help on the phone won’t be able to get someone right now, but the agency has said it would add staff to answer calls.
Further, taxpayer assistance centers — locations where you can seek help from the IRS in person — are closed.
“It’s going to be an interesting filing season,” said certified financial planner Debbie J. Freeman, CPA and director of financial planning at Peak Financial Advisors in Denver. “Not just with the tax reform changes but also with the shutdown.”
Federal gridlock notwithstanding, accountants are recommending that you gather your data and prepare to file as early as you can.
“A lot of people hear that the IRS is taking returns on Jan. 28th, but they won’t file until April,” said Amy Wang, CPA and senior manager on the American Institute of CPAs’ tax policy and advocacy team.
“Always file as soon as possible if you have all of the information available,” she said.
Here’s what you’ll need to get your 2018 return to the taxman as quickly as you can.