Shutdown could delay IRS tax refunds

Posted January 07, 2019

As if tax season isn't enough of a headache, a partial government shutdown is making things worse.

The Internal Revenue Service is one of the federal agencies that is impacted by the current partial government shutdown.

Funds cut off to the USDA and Treasury Department is learned to be hampering abilities to give food stamp or supply tax refunds. While the document notes the plan can be reassessed and furloughed employees can be recalled, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday and CNN reported Thursday that the IRS generally does not issue refunds during a shutdown.

Nikali Luke with Simplified Tax and Accounting Services says there are two problems for tax payers during the shutdown.

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Only about 12 percent of IRS staff are expected to continue working through a shutdown, according to CNBC. "Every year the IRS hires temporary workers to help process tax returns", she said.

"It's a delay because they're going to be short-staffed".

"The IRS hasn't announced a start date yet for the 2019 filing season", the report added.

Those who owe taxes usually delay filing until the April 15 deadline, and wealthier taxpayers with more complicated returns often take an extension.

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"This filing season was always going to be challenging", said Pomerleau. However, if the halt continues, people won't get a refund until the government reopens.

It will be harder for taxpayers to get assistance from the agency right now as well since call sites and responding to taxpayer questions are among the items cited as activities subject to the shutdown.

An analysis by UBS estimated an overall increase of $42 billion to $66 billion in tax refunds this year over 2017, Business Insider previously reported.

"You worry about the filing season because of the tax-law changes anyway".

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