It’s official: Tax season starts Jan. 28

Written on Jan 09, 2019

On Jan. 7, the IRS announced that – despite the ongoing government shutdown – it will process tax returns beginning Jan. 28 and provide taxpayer refunds as scheduled.

The agency’s funding ran out at midnight Dec. 21, and since then it has been operating under a contingency plan that furloughed 88% of its workforce while allowing for preparation for filing season and a limited number of other activities.

Under that contingency plan, which officially ran through Dec. 31, the agency would process electronic and some paper returns but would not issue refunds – similar to an Office of Management and Budget directive during a 2011 shutdown. However, this time around the OMB concluded the IRS does have statutory authority to issue refunds.

The IRS said it will recall “a significant portion” of its workforce to complete the work, and that taxpayers “should file when they are ready to submit a complete and accurate tax return.” The agency said it will issue further guidance soon.

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