2019 Tax changes and government shutdown impact to tax returns

Tax season getting into high gear

2019 Tax changes and government shutdown impact to tax returns

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - January 28 kicked off the tax season, and since the government shutdown ended on Friday all IRS workers returned to work.

Many are left wondering, will the shutdown affect tax returns? Two tax preparers in the Heartland say there may be small delays.

Barbara Holland, Regional Manager with Jackson Hewitt, prepares taxes in Carbondale and throughout the region.

“The IRS actually opened today and started accepting returns and they are a little bit slow on acknowledgement," she said.

Lacie Henson, another tax preparer with The Center for Financial, Legal and Tax Planning in Marion, agrees.

“Some things are probably going to be postponed a little bit or lagged and delayed compared to prior years,” Henson said.

Henson says, last year the date to start filing taxes was 13 days earlier.

Henson says the IRS is “assuring taxpayers that 90 percent of refunds will be paid in 21 days."

However, Holland says there are some exceptions.

“Now anyone that has earned income credit, tuition credits or any ting like that, their return will be accepted but they will not release any refunds until mid to late February," she said.

There are some tax changes under President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Both Holland and Henson says one particular group concerns them the most during the tax season.

“It’s changed for a lot of people, but yes. People are noticing the truck drivers the most,” Henson said.

“A lot of our truckers that work for a company and get a W-2, used to be able to take off their per diem per day. Fees, supplies they buy for their truck, that’s went away," Holland said. "That’s a big change for them. It’s going to lower a lot of refunds. for the most part they are going to be impacted pretty hard”

“If you do that to me, I’m going to go broke," Todd Petro, a truck driver gassing up at the Pilot in Marion said.

Petro says taking away that per diem deduction is not something he agrees with.

“I would get to the point why do I want to drive," he said. “You keep taking things away from us. We don’t make enough per mile to start with. We live on the road. It’s not good.”

Both professionals say if another government shutdown happens, the IRS will continue to process returns and still get refunds out.

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