Refunds Set To Go-Go
At first it appeared that tax refunds would be withheld until the government shutdown was lifted.
Many taxpayers were pretty worried. However, now taxpayers can do their happy dance! It has just been announced that not only will the refunds be issued, an official date has been set for when the IRS will be accepting tax returns. You can send your tax returns starting on January 28th. And, according to those in the know, the refunds will go out in a timely manner.
Up Against A Wall
As you may or may not know, the government shutdown is because of that wall that the president wants to build along the Mexican border. The thought was that if taxpayers weren’t able to get their refunds there would be “excruciating pressure” on lawmakers to cut a deal to abandon the fight for that wall.
Taxpayers Got Lucky This Time
In previous shutdown contingency plans, the IRS would accept tax returns during the filing season, but refunds would be delayed until the government was funded. In fact, some Washington insiders and experts are saying that allowing the refunds to be paid might be illegal. So, everyone expecting a refund this tax season should consider themselves fortunate, and with that being said, you need to file as quickly as possible. The way things are going in Washington, you don’t know if there will be another change of mind again that could result in not releasing the tax refunds. (Only kidding, sort of!)
Early Filing Is Smart
Besides trying to get ahead of a decision that could result in Washington putting the kibosh on tax refunds, it’s always a smart idea to file your taxes earlier rather than later. In recent years we’ve seen scammers and cyber criminals making their moves early in the season using stolen identities to file taxes. So, you definitely want to get ahead of the criminals too. Another benefit of filing your tax return early is that it is then behind you instead of hanging over your head. Procrastination just makes the task feel bigger than it actually is. Think about how good it will feel to put that unpleasant task behind you so you can relax and get on with more enjoyable things.
Also, you have to take into consideration the tax law that was passed in late 2017 that is just going to be fully realized this tax season. Getting your taxes prepared to file early will give you a better idea of how the changes in the new tax law will affect you. As I mentioned in my most recent blog, Amid Government Shutdown And Surprise Tax Bills, many taxpayers could be in for unpleasant surprises in the form of owing the IRS instead of getting a return and may be subject to fines if unable to pay.
File Whether You Expect A Refund Or Not
If you are one of the many thousands of taxpayers that do get hit with a surprise tax bill, you still must file your returns whether you can pay the bill or not. Not filing is a crime, whereas not paying is not a criminal act. As I mentioned in my blog there are people in Washington pushing to have fees waived for those who are hit with surprise tax bills. If you need help preparing your taxes or resolving lingering or new IRS tax issues, give us a call. We can help you avoid and resolve any tax issues.