This report covers tax return filing in the U.S. in light of the government shutdown and expected due dates in April for filing returns.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently confirmed the IRS will process tax returns beginning Monday, January 28, 2019, and that it intends to provide refunds to taxpayers as scheduled, notwithstanding the partial government shutdown.1 The filing deadline to submit 2018 tax returns is Monday April 15, 2019, for most taxpayers. However, because of the Patriots’ Day holiday on April 15 in Maine and Massachusetts and the Emancipation Day holiday on April 16 in the District of Columbia, taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 17, 2019, to file their federal tax returns.
At midnight on December 22, 2018, funding for roughly one quarter of the U.S. federal government lapsed after Congress failed to pass a spending bill to provide appropriations for several federal departments and agencies. The partial government shutdown is ongoing, and it is unclear when it will be resolved. There was concern that the partial government shutdown would prevent the IRS from issuing tax refunds, as the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) previously directed the IRS not to pay refunds during a lapse in appropriations. However, the Department of the Treasury requested that OMB review the relevant law and the conclusion is that the IRS may pay tax refunds during a lapse. This will be welcome news to assignees expecting U.S. tax refunds.
Even before the partial government shutdown, the 2019 filing season was expected to be a demanding one for the IRS, as it is the first time individual taxpayers will be dealing with and seeing the effects of the individual tax provisions enacted as part of Pub. L. 115-97 (commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act). Although the IRS plans to recall a significant portion of its currently furloughed workforce, should the partial government shutdown continue into the start of the filing season, it is possible that taxpayers will experience delays when dealing with the IRS.
1 IRS Newswire (Issue IR-2019-01, January 7, 2019): IR-2019-01.
The above information is not intended to be "written advice concerning one or more Federal tax matters" subject to the requirements of section 10.37(a)(2) of Treasury Department Circular 230 as the content of this document is issued for general informational purposes only.
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