A compromise was reached on January 25th to temporarily reopen the government after the longest shutdown in U.S. history. President Trump signed the bill allowing the government to reopen until February 15th late last Friday night. This caused a sigh of relief for taxpayers questioning when tax returns and refunds would be eligible for processing. However, some taxpayers may still be left waiting to file their return.
While the Internal Revenue Service has stated the filing season will continue as normal, the last-minute guidance many tax professionals expected to be issued during the days leading up to filing season were delayed. This includes guidance on the treatment of rental income when determining the Qualified Business Income Deduction, process to elect out of the debt interest cap, and guidance on opportunity zones. Additionally, there are forms required for certain tax situations that are still waiting to be finalized.
Due to the delay in guidance and approved forms, taxpayers involved in certain activities should still prepare for a delay in filing their 2018 tax return. Taxpayers who are only required to file a standard Form 1040 can begin processing their federal return now and should expect a refund within 21 days of processing.