Taxpayers urged to file ASAP as chance of second government shutdown looms
Tax experts say besides getting your refund faster, there is a more immediate reason to get your tax return filed with the IRS sooner than later.
With the possibility of another government shutdown, starting late next week, it could delay your refund.
READ MORE | Government Shutdown
The best suggestion from tax experts right now is for people to gather their forms as soon as they can.
Donna Franklin with Freedom Tax Service has been doing taxes for more than 50 years. She has always advised her clients like Rashika Mathis to file early.
"Well I mean, I just like to get it over and done with and wait on it to come, so it won't have to be a problem," said Mathis.
Now more than ever is this true, another government shutdown is looming on Friday, February 15, if government leaders cannot agree on a border security plan.
"The second shutdown, if it should occur, we have no idea what might happen. So you need to get in and file, when you get all your information you need to file," Franklin explained.
The recent 35-day shutdown created a backlog for the IRS, working only at a 50% capacity and the agency is still feeling the effects.
"They have called their workers back, however, there's such a workload they are behind from being short staffed that it's going to take a little bit longer."
There's another reason why you may want to file early: the new tax laws. There's a new 1040 form and some may be unaware of the dependent care credit for children and elderly family members.
"So you would cheat yourself out of the credit and those credits go up to $200," said Franklin.
Also, if you have a 401k, and the information is not entered correctly, you could lose up to $200 in credits. Franklin said such changes are helping her clients, resulting in larger refunds. She said those who have filed their own returns in recent years, could benefit from using a professional.
Everyone that has filed with me so far has gotten a bigger refund if their situation was the same as last year," she said.
The IRS expects 90% of all returns to be filed electronically this year, which typically speeds up processing time, but that could change if another shutdown doesn't cause another slowdown.