Tax time is typically a time for an influx of funds for American consumers in the form of their tax refunds. This year, it was transformed into a time of uncertainty and drastic change, preceded by the longest government shutdown in history and marked by the inaugural implementation of many provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The shutdown cost the IRS critical weeks of preparation for the 2019 filing season, including answering taxpayer questions about the new law and updating its computers to process tax returns.
The tax filing season opened on schedule January 28, but amid troubling questions and worries about many aspects of tax administration, including whether the IRS would be able to issue timely refunds. The turmoil may be a boon for lenders and preparers offering tax time financial products this year.