IRS Might Be Closed, but Your Taxes Are Still Due

The U.S. Internal Revenue Services is closed, thanks to the government shutdown, but your taxes are still due on April 15 and that is why individuals need to proceed through tax season as if nothing is amiss, experts say.

The opening day of e-filing traditionally occurs during the third week in January. This year, however, there is still a lot of unfinished business because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

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One of the most complex changes in the legislation is how to calculate income for self-employed individuals or those with partnerships. Filers need to figure out something called qualified business income and run an algorithm for a new 20 percent deduction on this income, which has a lot of phase-outs and special qualifications.

It is “way more complicated than first blush would make it seem,” said tax preparer David Tolleth in Holmdel, New Jersey.

When Tolleth looks at 2018 forms in his professional software, they are all still marked draft, including the main 1040 form. In prior years plagued by filing delays, Tolleth prepared returns and then sent them once the system was online.

“I’m hoping that will happen this year, but I don’t know,” he said.

Jake Johnstun, an enrolled agent tax preparer from Ogden, Utah, is not trusting his tax software, especially when it comes to qualified business income. Instead, he built spreadsheets with different variables and has been running numbers for a month and a half.

Johnstun is supposed to tape a panel discussion with three IRS officials in less than two weeks to explain the changes to tax professionals. But his slated experts are currently furloughed.

BUSY SIGNALS

Tax accountants say they get busy signals when they try to fax the Internal Revenue Service. Major software companies, meanwhile, are mostly just pinging electronic servers as they test their 2018 software updates. The IRS is not answering questions from professionals or from individuals, other than what is already publicly available on its website.

Nevertheless, most tax professionals are not worried. Even though tax preparation firm Jackson Hewitt Tax Service is not on its usual schedule of speaking with the IRS daily, chief tax officer Mark Steber does not expect chaos.

“They planned for this. They had contingency plans. It’s not their first rodeo,” Steber said.

TurboTax, the tax software service, said it is fully up to date and ready for taxpayers to start working on their returns as of Jan. 4.

“TurboTax will securely store completed returns for transmission to the IRS and States once they begin accepting e-file,” the company said in a statement.

If that e-filing day is delayed, some early filers may start to worry about their refunds. The IRS will accept tax payments during a shutdown and will charge penalties and fees on money past due, but it will not dole out refunds until everything is back up and running.

Any significant delay may back up refunds even more, which is why tax preparers say individuals should stay on track and prepare their tax materials for filing by April 15.

Some tax preparation services, like Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block, offer refund advance loans. But customers need to read the fine print and be sure to look at all fees and interest payments. Also consider the standard personal finance advice that advance loans are a last-resort option.

Filers may also find that they are not due the kind of refund they received in the past, because their withholding throughout the year changed when the new tax laws took effect.

Most companies updated their payroll calculations, and employees might not have even noticed the difference. In a recent survey by H&R Block, 47 percent of people did not even know they could change their W-4 form at any time.

“You can’t really compare this year to last year,” said Lynn Ebel, director of the Tax Institute at H&R Block. “People need to be careful with expectations. This year is going to be different.”

via newsmax

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3 comments

  1. What better reason does the American taxpaying public need than this to NOT pay their yearly extortion fees/ income taxes. There will be no refund checks this year because of the government shutdown. The political criminals in D.C. will continue to get their extortion fees from the taxpaying America citizen while many thousands continue to live in shit holes that are supposed to be their homes. So I will say this to all Americans. Our supposed decent political officials will continue to rip off the American public just so that they can keep ass raping all of us and do nothing for the American people that they are supposed to serve and not the other way round. This goes for both political parties. I don’t care if you’re republican or a democrat voter, we will continued to be raped by the political elitists if we don’t stand up now. If 70-90 million taxpaying American refuse to pay their taxes then the government would indeed take notice. The governmental body will do 1 maybe 2 things out of the reasons that I will tell you all now. #1. They will either have us killed outright for not paying their extortion money. #2. They will have us imprisoned for not paying their extortion money. #3. They will have us tortured and or imprisoned for not paying their extortion money. Or #4. They will finally do the jobs that they were elected to do in the first place and help the American people instead of just wanting to disrupt our lives in any way that they possibly can. After all people, this is supposed to be the money that you’ve worked hard for and if the government is not going to do the jobs that they were hired to do, then why should the American taxpayer have to continue to pay their over inflated salaries. The Rooster Has Crowed!!!

    1. Well my friend there has never been a lawful American taxpayer to the federal income tax simply because the tax that can be owed is by federal persons only. If you have never looked into the tax code, then you will never see the truth with your own eyes that the tax has never applied to you.

  2. The IRS needs to go the way of the doe doe bird. All agencies need to be shut down. We should start with the CIA, TSA and go right down the line. The so-called govt shut down is a good thing.

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