CPA: IRS should be working even if government shuts down

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - While another government shutdown may be looming, should taxpayers be worried about tax returns? KMVT spoke to a certified public accountant to see what taxpayers should be prepared for.

Tilley & Lincoln PLLC said regardless if the government does shut down, part of the IRS will still be working to process the papers.

"What we’re talking about here is they may not answer the phone. If you have a question about a tax law, they’re probably not going to answer it. On the other hand they do consider the people running the computers, as it’s essential," said Douglas Lincoln, a certified public accountant.

However, if taxpayers are worried, they can file now before the possible shutdown at the end of the week. However, Lincoln recommends taking time to file the taxes and get it right the first time.

"Don’t try and guess, don’t try and rush. If you’re not sure about it, it’s better to do it right the first time," he said. "Be calm. We’ll get through this in the end, taxes will be filed, payments will be made, and refunds will come."

While it's possible tax refunds could be delayed because of the shutdown, Lincoln emphasized that fraud and identity theft is the more concerning issue that could delay refunds.

There were also quite a few changes to filing taxes this year.

Lincoln said on an individual level, standard deductions have changed.

"It’s gone from $6,000 basically for single to $12,000. From $12,700 for married couple to $24,00," he said.

He said that personal exemptions are also gone.

"We do still have to test for dependency on those kids because there’s a child tax credit that replaces these things," he explained.

Then, the 1040 forms changed from two pages to about six pages.

Looking at withholding's are a big as well, he said, as they can be different between state and federal.

He recommends looking at the Idaho State Tax Commission website and the IRS website to calculate withholdings.

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