Amid the biggest tax code overhaul in 30 years comes this not-so-surprising warning: The 2019 tax season might start later than normal.
The Internal Revenue Service itself might not agree. But the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration is not convinced that the IRS will be accepting filings of 2018 tax returns on the normal schedule. That skepticism came in a Sept. 25 report. See it at: https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2018reports/201824064fr.pdf
Usually, taxpayers can count on the season starting by the last week of January.
The TIGTA is skeptical because of the large number of code changes made by Congress in last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and because of some internal deadlines already missed by IRS. Most of the changes went into effect for the first time for 2018.
The IRS estimated it must rewrite or create about 450 forms and publications and, to process those returns, the tax agency will have to update about 140 computing systems, accounting industry newsletter Tax Pro Today highlighted in its coverage of the report. IRS also plans to reassign or hire and, of course, train hundreds of new workers.
The chief of IRS technology, S. Gina Garza, chief of IRS information technology, debated some conclusions in the Treasury Department’s report but seemed optimistic about the upcoming tax season. “Internal Revenue Service Information Technology is committed to implementing the modifications required. . .and ultimately providing a successful filing season for the American Taxpayers,” she responded.
Congress did provide $320 million to the tax collectors to incorporate the new tax codes into the IRS systems, the Treasury’s report noted. Included was about $291 million for computer systems and operations support.
Can early bird filers count on getting returns in and tax refunds sent by the end of January? EricJohn Ltd. will be ready to help with your personal return, whenever the next tax season starts.