As the partial shutdown of the federal government starts another week, the possibility of tax refund delays becomes more likely as President Trump and Congressional Democrats continue to be at odds.

Impacted by the shutdown, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) alone has furloughed approximately 70,000 employees since the Dec. 22 closing, accounting for nearly 88 percent of its workforce. While it can process some tax returns, keep systems running and conduct criminal investigations, the agency has had to cease other vital taxpayer services such as answering taxpayer questions, accepting non-disaster relief transcript requests and issuing tax refunds. With this being the first tax filing under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, this couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Taxpayers will likely have many questions and getting answers or guidance from the IRS will be hard if the shutdown continues.

At this point, the IRS still has not announced when it would begin receiving 2018 tax returns. But, that doesn’t mean taxpayers should wait to gather information and get their returns started. Although the start of tax season may be delayed, the due dates aren’t guaranteed to be extended.

Stay tuned as Doeren Mayhew keeps you up-to-date on the shutdown’s impact on tax season. If you’re ready to get your tax return started, contact our tax advisors today.