On January 7, 2019, the IRS issued a statement indicating the 2019 tax filing season officially begins on January 28 despite the ongoing government shutdown. While the IRS is operating with slightly over 12% of its normal staff on hand, it still expects to process tax returns and issue refunds. Therefore, taxpayers should not treat the gridlock in Washington D.C. as an opportunity to disregard tax compliance responsibilities. The current government shutdown will not be a viable excuse for anyone’s failure to meet filing obligations.
Further, 2018 constitutes the first full year for tax reporting under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that changed the tax rules beginning with the 2018 tax returns. This means it may be a complicated filing year for many taxpayers. Accordingly, all taxpayers, whether individuals or businesses, should continue working closely with their legal and accounting teams to make sure the 2019 filing season runs as smooth as possible. While no one can predict when the government shutdown will end, we know with certainty that our tax obligations remain and should be treated with the same urgency and diligence as any other year.