Tensions between Japan and South Korea come as the U.S. and its trading partners are embroiled in a global trade war.Technologyread more
The one-to-eight stock split would mean the current number of ordinary shares — which stands at 4 billion — will increase to 32 billion. It comes ahead of a reported Hong Kong...Asia Marketsread more
Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy meeting in July showed the central bank was ready to adjust interest rates if required.Asia Marketsread more
Current and former Tesla employees working in the company's open-air "tent" factory say they felt pressure to take shortcuts to hit aggressive Model 3 production goals,...Technologyread more
China's fiscal spending increased 10.7% in the first six months from a year earlier, the finance ministry said on Tuesday, underlining the government's bid to support the...China Economyread more
The findings by McKinsey and Company come amid a year-long tariff fight between the U.S. and China, which has spilled into areas such as technology and security.China Economyread more
Microsoft's considerable reach into the corporate world isn't something Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield is very concerned about.Technologyread more
A devastating outbreak of African swine fever that has killed millions of pigs in China is changing attitudes in a country where farm hygiene has often been seen as lax by...Livestockread more
In a closed-door meeting at a Manhattan mansion, executives outlined changes to controversial software that was implicated in two crashes.Aerospace & Defenseread more
President Donald Trump and the RNC are picking up key supporters in the business community who did not back him as a candidate in 2016.2020 Electionsread more
Amazon workers in Minnesota and Germany are striking as Prime Day kicks off, in a stand against working conditions and wage practices. The action in Minnesota represents the...Retailread more
The IRS has assured taxpayers of two key concerns during the ongoing federal government shutdown — the tax season start date and the availability of refunds — but accountants say the tax-filing season could still be painful.
Earlier this week, the tax agency said that it would kick off the income tax--filing season on Jan. 28 and taxpayers would receive the refunds they're owed, in spite of the shutdown.
The IRS said it would also recall a "significant portion" of its workforce, bringing them back to work without pay.
But accountants warn that difficult times may still be ahead for taxpayers as the shutdown continues.
"It looks like getting the refund will no longer be the issue, but now it's the lack of support you will get if you try to call — and it will be significant this year," said Tim Steffen, CPA and director of advanced planning at Robert W. Baird & Co.
Here are the hurdles that may stand between you and having your return processed smoothly if the shutdown continues.
The IRS hasn't yet rolled out its contingency plan for the tax-filing season.
However, positions that have been furloughed include personnel who will respond to taxpayers' calls, according to the IRS's earlier contingency plan.
The IRS gets more than 95 million calls on its toll-free lines each year, according to a 2017 report from the agency's Taxpayer Advocate Service.
Close to 40 percent of the taxpayers polled by the Taxpayer Advocate Service said that calling the IRS didn't fully resolve their problem. The advocate administered a survey to 3,735 filers in February 2017.
Areas with the least customer satisfaction include return preparation assistance, information on a notice and information on a refund, the Taxpayer Advocate Service found.
This dissatisfaction will be further compounded by the fact that this is the first time filers will submit returns under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — a sweeping overhaul of the tax code that resulted in higher standard deductions and new limitations on itemized deductions.
Even the Form 1040 has been overhauled, trimmed to the size of a postcard and accompanied by six schedules.
"I'm worried that the service won't be able to respond to questions," said Troy Lewis, CPA and chair of the American Institute of CPA's task force on qualified business income.
"I can't think of a time when there's been more change for individuals in the last two decades where people will be asking for answers," he said.
Another filing season hiccup is the fact that accountants have been awaiting the final word on regulations that would affect clients' 2018 returns.
For instance, small businesses are holding out for the 20 percent qualified business income deduction. It's a break for so-called pass-through entities, including sole proprietorships and S-corporations.
Accountants are awaiting final regulations from the Treasury on this break to help clients with their 2018 returns. However, the shutdown has slowed down that process.
"I think that deduction applies to more people than we realize," said Barry Picker, CPA and co-founder of Picker & Auerbach in Brooklyn, New York. "It would be nice to have those final regulations.
"You don't want to be filing amended returns," he added.
Taxpayers with amended returns may also wait a little longer to get a refund if the shutdown continues.
Staffers processing amended returns were among the positions to be furloughed, according to the IRS's non-filing season contingency plan.
"Amended returns are much more manual, so we expect the taxpayers awaiting refunds based on amended returns will have a longer delay," said Suzanne Shier, chief tax strategist at Northern Trust.
More from Personal Finance
40,000 mortgages could be caught up in the government shutdown
High-yield savings accounts outperformed the stock market in 2018
How you manage debt will impact those retirement dreams