Government shutdown could impact tax refunds

Roman Schwartz
January 5, 2019

And while some of the lights may still be on in the building, the agency is now operating with only 12.5% of its workforce, or fewer than 10,000 federal employees.

Only about 1 out of 8 IRS workers work during the shutdown.

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.

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

The timing of refunds may be in question. "Second, the quicker you can get your information to the IRS, the less likely you can be a victim of fraud when someone uses your personal information to file a fraudulent return and get a refund".

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Tax preparers are encouraging people to call or stop in to your local office to ask questions as this tax season begins. "Normal operations will resume as soon as possible".

Those who need the refunds the most are also usually among the first to file during the January to April tax season.

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.

President Donald Trump is withholding his support for a bill that would fully fund the government until he secures $5.6 billion for a wall on the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will receive this raise as well.

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