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Government Shutdown Could Delay Your Tax Refund

08 January, 2019, 00:38 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • Americans may find themselves missing an agency they usually love to hate if the government shutdown persists the Internal Revenue Service

But fear not! While the Internal Revenue Service now lacks the funds to process refunds, it is fully prepared to process tax returns that include payments to the government.

The government shutdown seems to have no end in sight, even as tax season is upon us.

In the meantime, some IRS employees are still working to implement the Republican tax plan, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which contained its own funding for two fiscal years. But if you're due a refund, well, you may have to wait a long time to get it.

If the shutdown stretches further, Shattuck says it could affect how quickly early filers get their refunds.

That is what callers to the IRS hotline heard and will continue to hear when calling the government agency's hotline with a tax question.

The owner of Curtis Accounting and Tax Services said there will nearly certainly be a delay in processing returns.

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In 2018, the earliest date taxes could be filed was January 29, and the start of tax season will once again be in January. However, if the government doesn't open by then, he said it's nearly guaranteed that refunds will be delayed.

Refunds won't be issued until the government is reopened, which could mean trouble for those hoping to have some extra cash in February or March.

As the government shutdown enters another week, federal agencies like the IRS are feeling the effects.

Meanwhile, the IRS will also stop several other functions: audits, return examinations, non-automated collections, and 1040X processing, among other operations. 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. 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 means most workers whose duties range from answering taxpayer questions to paying out refunds typically aren't at work.

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