Government shutdown continues, but taxes will go on

According to local HR Block Office Manager Steve Berninger the longest government shutdown to occur in our nation’s history, will have no affect in the filing portion of taxes. However, other aspects in regards to the IRS have felt the affects.

“With the government shutdown, a lot of the IRS services are not available right now. But the thing that people are most interested in is when they will start accepting tax returns that are e-filed and also when they will begin to start issuing refunds,” he said. “Even though a lot of the services aren’t available with the shutdown, they did just recently announced that on January 28, they will start accepting electronically filed tax returns. It’s important to note that even though that’s the start date, people can start right now, there’s no reason to wait.”

Berninger said most people can expect to see refunds within 21 days depending on how they file.

“The best guidance the IRS gives is within 21 days they will issue refunds assuming there are no issues with their tax returns,” he said.

Additionally, he added that it is possible some people may even see earlier tax returns as the IRS often processes certain refunds earlier than others to make sure their system(s) is running properly.

“As soon as we process a return, we send it in. Then it sits there and waits for the IRS to open their doors. The interesting thing is that they always start processing before their advertised date,” he said.

Although filing has not been affected, Berninger said the shutdown has caused all communication with the IRS to be placed on hold. Meaning some issues that normally consultants can call the IRS and ask them about, must also be placed on hold.

“From the filing standpoint, it hasn’t really affected us at all. Where it has affected us is when we need to call the IRS about issues people have, there’s no one to talk to. A lot of the things are on hold that we routinely do,” he said.