The Association for Main Street
Accountants and Tax Professionals.

IRS Filing Season Announcement

IRS Announces January 28
Start to Tax Filing Season

by Daniel Hood, Accounting Today

Related Articles on IRS Filing Season

January 07 2019 -- While the ongoing government shutdown had some concerned about a possible delayed start to tax season, the Internal Revenue Service confirmed Monday that it would begin processing tax returns on Jan. 28 – and issuing refunds on a regular schedule.

“We are committed to ensuring that taxpayers receive their refunds notwithstanding the government shutdown. I appreciate the hard work of the employees and their commitment to the taxpayers during this period,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a statement. 

In 2011, the Office of Management and Budget had directed the IRS not to pay out tax refunds during “a lapse in annual appropriations,” but this year, at the request of the Treasury Department, the OMB reviewed the rules and reversed itself.

“Tax refunds will go out,” the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Russell Vought, told reporters at a briefing on Monday. (See IRS will pay refunds during shutdown, easing pressure for a deal.)

As a result, the IRS will recall what it described as “a significant portion” of its furloughed workers, and plans to release more details in an updated version of its “FY2019 Lapsed Appropriations Contingency Plan” in the near future.

“IRS employees have been hard at work over the past year to implement the biggest tax law changes the nation has seen in more than 30 years,” said Rettig in the IRS statement.

The complexity of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was passed in December 2017, but many of who major provisions will only begin to come into play this tax season, had led to concerns that the IRS would not be able to implement it on a timely basis.

The IRS noted that taxpayers who are ready to file can do so as soon as they like; software companies and tax professionals can accept and prepare returns before Jan. 28, and then submit them when the service opens its systems.

More Details on January 28 Launch of IRS Filing Season

January 8, 2019 - As MTAP members have learned, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig has announced that the federal tax filing season will officially begin on January 28.

Since last night's announcement, we have learned these additional things:

1. Returns will be due to the IRS on April 15, as usual. The only exception is for those filers in the District of Columbia, Maine and Massachusetts who will have until April 17 due to local holidays.

2. The IRS cannot issue refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February, as outlined in the PATH Act.

3. The Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget agreed the IRS can issue tax refunds during a prolonged government shutdown.

The IRS is recalling a "significant number" of furloughed workers to insure the filing season launches efficiently and taxpayers/practitioners have sources should they have questions or require assistance if the government shutdown continues.

MTAP will continue to keep you updated.

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