The government may be shut down, but filing taxes will be business as usual. (That includes getting your tax refund!)
Still, the IRS has some advice for navigating this year’s tax season, which is Jan. 28-April 15.
- E-file your taxes.
The IRS will of course accept paper tax returns, but you are encouraged to e-file to speed up the process. You can visit this IRS link to see some great options for e-filing for free or pretty close to it. As always, if you choose to have your refund directly deposited to your bank account, it will speed the process up.
- Be prepared to wait if you need help.
Refunds are still expected to come on time, but if you need customer service make sure you are in a patient mood. The government is returning 46,000 furloughed workers to the IRS, but only a portion of those will be on phone banks, and there’s no live customer service available.
Should you need to conduct any correspondence other than normal filing, that won’t be addressed until after the shutdown.
- There is no walk-in taxpayer service.
IRS walk-In taxpayer service centers won’t be open until after the shutdown. This means the local offices can’t accept large cash payments, give in-person service or re-establish their identity after an identity theft.
If you do need help with your taxes, though, there are several local agencies who can offer assistance absolutely free! See below for more information about this awesome local program:
- A few other things you can’t do right now.
If you are planning a trip abroad, getting a Passport will be challenging as the IRS is not certifying passports during the shutdown. You also will not be able to apply for tax-exempt status if you are part of an organization looking to do that.
While the shutdown is taking place, you won’t undergo an audit.
Last but not least, once you file your taxes, you can check on your refund status here. Happy filing!