Early IRS tax refunds up in the air during government shutdown

Muriel Colon
January 8, 2019

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.

"Relevant authority has established that tax revenues constitute Government property which the Service must safeguard during a lapse in appropriations", according to the IRS.

"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". -Mexican border. As a result, about 800,000 federal workers have been unpaid due to the closure of about a quarter of the federal government.

"So if the shutdown lasts a very long time and several months then we are going to see a lot of people who should've gotten refunds that aren't going to get those refunds until the shutdown is resolved", said Joseph Bearden.

The tax assistance lines won't be staffed until the shutdown ends.

Trump’s shutdown could delay your early tax refund — but it’s not a problem for the rich
The government shutdown could delay your tax refund

Tax filing season begins in mid-January, and returns are due to the IRS by April 15, raising the possibility that tax refunds could be delayed.

When the government does re-open, when will people get their money?

As the government remains closed, worry spreads about what this means for us, the taxpayers. While the document notes the plan can be reassessed and furloughed employees can be recalled, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday and CNN reported Thursday that the IRS generally does not issue refunds during a shutdown.

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.

Typically, lower-income taxpayers who have no federal tax liability file their tax returns as soon as possible in January, and expect to receive refunds by February. That work is likely to be stalled by a shutdown.

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