White House says IRS will pay tax refunds despite partial government shutdown

Roman Schwartz
January 10, 2019

OMB deputy director Russ Vought told The Daily Caller the White House would work quickly to make the process as "painless as possible" for taxpayers during a Monday meeting.

CBS News says White House officials announced tax refunds will go out and will not be affected by the shutdown.

In a press release Monday, the Internal Revenue Service confirmed that tax return processing will begin January 28 and refunds will be given to taxpayers as scheduled. Under the previous rules, hundreds of billions of dollars in refunds could be delayed because funding would not be available.

While Congress directed refunds to be given through an indefinite, permanent appropriation, the IRS added that it "has consistently been of the view that it has authority to pay refunds despite a lapse in annual appropriations".

Which may mean having to file an amended return later, because Herron says the budget literally directs IRS operations, including everything from tax forms to software.

This afternoon reporter Paula Reid confirmed with White House officials that tax refunds will go out.

Trump storms out of negotiations with Democrats on Mexico border wall
At a private meeting with House Republicans , Vice President Mike Pence cited a C.S. Lewis quote calling courage a virtue, and he said Trump has no plans to retreat.

While that may inconvenience taxpayers and accountants, the administration has reversed course from its predecessors by issuing refunds during a shutdown.

"[The] longer the shutdown lasts, the more government services will grind to a halt". That's within the normal timeframe.

Herron says despite the shutdown, automated payments will continue and taxpayers can also mail payments.

Minnesota opens their tax filing season on the same date in conjunction with the federal government. Enacted by Republicans in December 2017, the changes provided for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts mainly financed by government deficits.

Nonpartisan tax experts have projected that the law will bring lower taxes for the great majority of Americans, though not all. "The IRS usually pays around $125 [billion] in tax refunds in February and a further $75 billion in March", Ashworth wrote.

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