After a 35 day shutdown the government has been reopened until February 15. Tax season is here and the IRS is accepting returns. We know that you have questions about how the shutdown will impact the processing of your return and refund. Below are answers to common questions. We’re here to help.
- Is the government open and accepting tax returns? On Friday, January 25, the government reopened until at least February 15. The IRS opened January 28 and is processing tax returns.
- What happens after February 15? The government is temporarily funded until February 15. It is unclear if the government will shut down again after February 15. Jackson Hewitt advises clients to file their tax returns now while the government is open. The sooner you file the sooner you could get your return.
- How can I check the status of my refund? Our MyJH platform lets you securely store all your tax documents and check the status of your return and refund. You can create your free account at https://www.jacksonhewitt.com/wheres-my-refund/. If you have a tax return without EITC or Additional Child Tax Credit, the information is being updated daily. For those claiming EITC/ACTC, refund information will be available after February 23.
- What happens for people who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit? Like the prior two years, anyone claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, and the Additional Child Tax Credit, or ACTC, should expect to receive their refund after February 15. The IRS has advised everyone that it will begin releasing these refunds around that time. The IRS releases refunds on a rolling basis and it takes time for the money to move through the federal banking system and into your pocket. The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on February 27, 2019, if these taxpayers chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return. You can track the status of your return on our MyJH platform after February 23.
- If the government is shutdown, can I wait to file my taxes? Taxpayers should NOT wait to file their 2018 tax returns. While the shutdown caused a lot of confusion about what impact it may have on taxes, we know that taxes will still be due so you need to file a return. In fact, we encourage you to file early.
- Why should I file my taxes early? If taxpayers owe the IRS money, filing early provides the taxpayer with more time to save and plan for the payment, which isn’t due until April 15. Plus, filing early can help prevent tax return fraud. Tax-related identity theft has been a growing problem that affected taxpayers are often not aware of until they file their returns. While the IRS has dozens of identity screens in place to protect taxpayers, the best way taxpayers can protect themselves is to file tax returns early.