NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tax season is upon us, and it’s time for taxpayers to get their act — and forms — together.
But has anything changed this year as the IRS recovers from the government shutdown?
“It’s probably going to take them months upon months to get out from under,” said John Lieberman, a certified public accountant from Perelson Weiner LLP.
Lieberman says the IRS has its work cut out for them this spring.
“Imagine being away on vacation for a month and all the accumulated mail… except instead of just having a few pieces, maybe 50, there is 5 million pieces of documents they have to go through,” the CPA explained to CBS2’s Dick Brennan.
So what does that mean for you?
Well, it means a lot if you have any type of dispute or if you need information to process something.
“Where it would normally take eight to 10 weeks. It may be 15-18 weeks,” Lieberman said.
There’s also some new things this year, including your IRS form.
“It’s a postcard-looking form, However, you now have five or six pages behind it explaining what the first page looks like,” Lieberman described.
With the new federal tax law, homeowners have their deduction of state and local — or SALT — taxes capped at $10,000. But at the state level, there is an important distinction.
“So last year, you deducted your real estate taxes on New York state, interest, union dues, financial advisories, etc… That’s still deductible in the state, so hopefully you didn’t throw out your receipts,” Lieberman said.
One more thing to remember: It may seem like common sense, but manners matter, when you deal with the IRS.
“If you do speak to the IRS and you get someone on the phone be kind to them. They are under a lot of pressure. They are doing the best they can and they really do mean well and will try to resolve your problem,” Lieberman suggests.
As for your refund, the government shutdown might make it a day or two late, but if your form is more complicated it might get pushed back a week or two.
Experts say get your stuff organized and if you have any questions consult a CPA.