Tax Preparers Say File Early This Year

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- With the potential for another government shutdown, tax services are asking their clients to consider filing earlier this year.

Tax Day is a few months away, but Nicholas Hohman and his wife Cheyanne are preparing their tax returns at Jackson Hewitt in Williamsport.

"We just came in real fast, just to get them over with, so we don't have to worry about it in a couple of weeks or months," Nicholas Hohman said.

With a 2-year-old child at home, this couple is ready for their tax refund.

"You get that money and you stock up on diapers and wipes," said Hohman.

Companies like Jackson Hewitt are asking taxpayers to consider filing early this year for a few reasons.

"For one, taxes have changed considerably this year," said Tom McNamara. "This is the largest reform in 30 years, so there are a lot of questions."

Those questions will be harder to answer if the government shuts down on February 15, three weeks after President Trump temporarily reopened the government to negotiate a border security deal.

"If the government shuts down and returns are going into the IRS at a fast pace, at the period of time that the government is shut down, there are going to be complications with filing those returns which could result in delays or errors in processing," said McNamara.

With a potential shutdown, Elizabeth Stewart is glad she's filing early again this year.

"They are just going to be completely backed up, and that's not good for anything, not for the government, not for the state, not for anything," Stewart said.

Employees at Jackson Hewitt know filing this early is just not possible for everyone.

"I own a couple different businesses and I don't usually think about it until the end of the year. It's not a top priority at the beginning of the year."

Whether taxpayers plan to file through a company or by themselves online, they should not expect an extension because of a potential government shutdown. Tax Day is still April 15.

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