Getting Ready For The 2019 Tax Filing Season
On January 7, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it will process tax returns beginning January 28, 2019 and provide refunds to taxpayers as scheduled despite the current government shutdown.
While full operation of the IRS cannot resume without appropriation of funds by Congress, Federal law (31 U.S.C. 1324) mandates that all tax refunds still due to taxpayers must be made through a permanent, indefinite appropriation. Thus while a significant number of IRS employees are furloughed and IRS functions severely limited under the current shutdown, taxpayers will still get their refunds.
The IRS will be recalling a significant portion of its workforce, currently furloughed as part of the government shutdown, to work. Additional details for the 2019 filing season will be included in an updated 2019 Lapsed Appropriations Contingency Plan to be released publicly in the coming days.
April 15th Filing Deadline.
The filing deadline to submit 2018 tax returns is Monday, April 15, 2019 for most taxpayers. Because of the Patriots’ Day holiday on April 15 in Maine and Massachusetts and the Emancipation Day holiday on April 16 in the District of Columbia, taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 17, 2019 to file their returns but for everyone else, the filing deadline remains as Monday, April 15.
Since the IRS will begin processing tax returns on January 28th there is no advantage to filing tax returns on paper in early January instead of waiting for the IRS to begin accepting e-filed returns. Nevertheless, it makes sense to start organizing your information early and so when the IRS filing systems open on January 28th, you are ready to submit your tax return right away.
Refunds in 2019.
Choosing e-file and direct deposit for refunds remains the fastest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund. The IRS still anticipates issuing at least 90%of tax refunds in less than 21 days, but there are some important factors to keep in mind for taxpayers that could cause delay. Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act which took into effect starting with the 2017 Tax Filing Season, the IRS is required to hold refunds for tax returns which include a claim of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15, 2019. Also consider that it would still take several days for these refunds to be released and processed through financial institutions, and factoring in weekends, the current government shutdown and the President’s Day holiday, taxpayers claiming these credits may not have actual access to their refunds until the later part of February.
Time Limits For Keeping Your Tax Records
Even though your 2018 income tax return is processed by the IRS and a refund is issued, that does not mean the IRS can later question or audit the tax return, In fact the Statute Of Limitations allows the IRS three years to go back and audit your tax return. That is why it’s a good idea to keep copies of your prior-year tax returns and supporting backup documentation for at least three years.
What Should You Do?
You know that at the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. we are always thinking of ways that our clients can save on taxes. If you are selected for an audit, stand up to the IRS by getting representation. Tax problems are usually a serious matter and must be handled appropriately so it’s important to that you’ve hired the best lawyer for your particular situation. The tax attorneys at the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. located in Orange County (Irvine), the San Francisco Bay Area (including San Jose and Walnut Creek) and elsewhere in California are highly skilled in handling tax matters and can effectively represent at all levels with the IRS and State Tax Agencies including criminal tax investigations and attempted prosecutions, undisclosed foreign bank accounts and other foreign assets, and unreported foreign income. Also if you are involved in cannabis, check out what our cannabis tax attorneys can do for you.