Shutdown could delay IRS tax refunds

Anna Jefferson
January 8, 2019

According to KXAN, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will continue to process returns and it will accept payments if you owe money to the government.

Since the shutdown began on December 22, IRS has been operating on a shutdown plan that it uses outside of the tax-filing season, which doesn't fund the processing of tax refunds.

If the partial government shutdown goes on for weeks, it could delay your tax refund check.

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And while some of the lights may still be on in the building, the agency is now operating with only 12.5% of its workforce, or fewer than 10,000 federal employees. However, for some, the April 15 deadline is relatively meaningless because in an effort to get money in their bank account from their return sooner, they file their taxes early.

"A lot of families rely on this income, so that's going to be the biggest issue", said Alejandra Pino, a tax preparer for Shining Accounting Services in Harrisonburg. "Number two, once that refunds start to come out, it will be delayed because again they are behind", said Luke. If it continues, it may pressure lawmakers to make quick decisions to end the shutdown.

"This filing season was always going to be challenging", said Pomerleau. As the IRS's contingency plan noted, the law's implementation "requires creating or revising hundreds of tax products including worksheets and tax forms, form instructions and publications as well as changes to current IRS policies and procedures". "That stalemate raises the prospect of an unprecedented extended closure during the individual income-tax filing season, which typically starts in mid-to-late January".

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"Live telephone assistance is not available at this time", an IRS recording said Thursday.

The message also states that "normal operations will return as soon as possible".

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