Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Finance | By Jaime Brady

Government Shutdown Could Impact Tax Returns

Government Shutdown Could Impact Tax Returns

The agency calls issuing tax refunds a "non-excepted" activity, which is performed by government workers who are being furloughed because of the shutdown.

Representative Richard Neal, a Democrat who is the new chairman of the House of Representatives tax-writing committee, expressed concern that the IRS, the USA tax agency, has already furloughed most of its work force and stopped issuing tax refunds since the partial government shutdown began December 22. Only about 1 out of 8 IRS workers work during the shutdown.

File your tax return but don't count on having your refund any time soon. "The IRS still hasn't opened the filing season, so we continue to tell people to come in, get your documents together, get your W-2, your Schedule C information, and just come on in", Angrand said.

While refunds might be delayed, the April 15 deadline to file won't change.

Lionel Land has been fielding a lot of emails, texts and Facebook inquiries from people who want to know what the federal government shutdown means for them.

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Only about 12 percent of IRS staff are expected to continue working through a shutdown, according to CNBC.

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 long as the government remains closed down, don't expect to get that money.

Bearden said before the shutdown, the IRS was still trying to update its systems to process taxes with the new laws passed previous year.

One other area in which the IRS may have problems is the continuing implementation of the 2017 tax legislation passed by Republicans in Congress and signed by Trump. According to the agency's contingency plan for lapsed appropriations, taxpayer refunds are one of the things that will be affected.

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