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Tax refunds could be delayed due to government shutdown

05 January 2019
Tax refunds could be delayed due to government shutdown

Right now, the IRS is working under a contingency plan for the non-filing season that has it operating with only 12.5% of its employees.

According to CNN, the IRS has yet to announce when people can begin submitting their tax returns, but "any gap in individuals not receiving money they're owed will put pressure on President Trump and lawmakers to strike a deal quickly".

And what if the government shutdown continues deep into tax season?

However, if the government shutdown ends sooner rather than later, meaning in the coming two weeks or so, you should still be able to get your tax refund on a timely fashion. However, the IRS will not process refunds.

The possibility of a lengthy stalemate could complicate this year's tax season, the first under the new law passed by Congress in 2017.

This partial government shutdown, which began December 22, means that impacted federal employees are either furloughed or working without pay, although once a deal is reached those working without pay now will be paid retroactively.

"It does throw a little bit of wrench into things", said Kyle Pomerleau, economist at the Tax Foundation.

If the impasse is resolved before mid-January, the traditional start of tax season, early tax filers may not feel a significant impact.

The deadline for federal tax returns isn't until April 15. Live telephone assistance is not available at this time. "The IRS was still figuring that out".

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

The shutdown plan cuts staffing at the IRS by 88 per cent, and the agency will not conduct audits or answer taxpayer questions under the current shutdown plan.