It’s hard to imagine anyone in Connecticut not knowing about the partial government shutdown. If you are one of the lucky ones that it doesn’t affect directly, then you may not pay much attention to it other than what you see in your news feed or in a newspaper.
However, as tax time approaches, you may want to pay a bit more attention since it could impact your filing experience this year. While the IRS vows that anyone receiving a refund will get it, it may not be able to provide other services it normally does during this time of year.
There may not be anyone to take your questions
The IRS usually keeps the lines of communication open this time of year in order to answer taxpayers’ questions. However, depending on how long the shutdown lasts, that service may not be available. While you could peruse the agency’s website for an answer, it would undoubtedly still leave your question at least partially unanswered.
Even if there are some people answering the phones at the IRS, they may not receive the training necessary to understand the new tax laws in a way that they can correctly answer your questions about it.
There may be confusion regarding the new tax laws
The new tax laws apply to the 2018 tax year. Since the U.S. Tax Code had changed little in the previous 30 years, now is an exceptionally inopportune time for around 70,000 IRS employees to not report to work. They are on furlough right now, so you can’t expect any help from the IRS in figuring out how the new tax laws apply to you in particular.
There may be an increased need for assistance this year
Facing these challenges at tax time probably doesn’t inspire much confidence for you. The risk of making mistakes on your federal income tax return is at an all-time high. Even under these conditions, the IRS expects for you to get it right when you file. Otherwise, you could face inconvenient and potentially costly consequences.
This year will probably turn out to be unlike any other when it comes to tax time. You would benefit greatly from taking steps to help ensure that you get the most out of the new tax laws without making any mistakes that could come back to bite you later.