Government Shut Downs Causes the IRS to Press Pause

The recent government shut down has halted operations for a large portion of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and given that tax season is fast approaching, this is concerning to both tax preparers and taxpayers. Let’s talk about what we know currently….

Help is sparse at the IRS with only a handful of staff members working- most without pay.  With so few hands on deck and a government that is not fully operational, you guessed it- tax documents aren’t churning. Refunds aren’t being issued. The phone lines are not open.

As for us here at Holbrook & Manter…. like most accountants right now would likely tell you… we wish the circumstances were different heading into tax season. The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) already presented many changes for tax preparation, and the shutdown certainly complicates things a bit.  However, we are up for the challenge and our commitment to client service will keep us focused on navigating this situation.

The IRS usually announces the opening of tax season around this time each year. The announcement is our cue to begin filing returns electronically. The announcement is the official “let the games begin” for all taxpayers. Due to the shutdown, that announcement has yet to be made.

While we await word, it will be as close to business as usual here at Holbrook & Manter. The shutdown could cause some delays during tax season, but it won’t take the need to be timely out of play.  The TCJA presents major overhauls to the tax code and we won’t be taking our eye off the prize, which is keeping our clients compliant.  We will still be preparing returns for our clients during the shutdown.

Should the shutdown drag on far into the filing season, taxpayers need to be aware that refunds will be delayed because they won’t be processed and issued until operations resume. This is likely not the year you can be certain of a timeframe for your refund to arrive. Planning to spend your refund dollars at a specific time is not advisable this year.

We are still holding tax planning meetings with our valued clients, we are still accepting new tax clients, we are still armed with a talented team that is aware of tax reform…. they will make this unconventional tax season a seamless one for those we work with.

We are monitoring the situation with the shutdown closely and will keep you informed. If you have any questions at all, please reach out to us.