Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Money | By Bruce West

Early IRS tax refunds up in the air during government shutdown

Early IRS tax refunds up in the air during government shutdown

All of this is creating headaches for taxpayers, businesses and their accountants with questions about how the new tax law might affect them.

And once the IRS begins accepting tax returns, you'll still be able to mail them in or submit them online even if the government is still shut down.

Tovey says, "You can get your rent paid, your bills paid, credit card debt, anything like that you want to do".

The average tax refund previous year was $2,800, money that many families rely on to help pay for rent, food and child care, Neal said in the letter.

Tax refunds are among the non-excepted agency activities listed. The government will take your money but it can't do refunds during a shutdown.

During the current shutdown, the IRS has lost funding and is operating with about 12 percent of its employees according to a UBS bank investment research report.

The U.S. tax filing season normally starts early in the year, ahead of the April 15 deadline for filing income tax returns.

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.

Meanwhile, the IRS will also stop several other functions: audits, return examinations, non-automated collections, and 1040X processing, among other operations.

Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, told Politico last week that the IRS could have to call back workers without pay for filing season.

There's a big caveat to all of this: The longer the shutdown goes on for, the worse the problems will get. According to the agency's contingency plan for lapsed appropriations, taxpayer refunds are one of the things that will be affected.

He believes the main impact will be felt by taxpayers who are due refunds, but he says there is a solution.

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