Government shutdown may delay tax refunds

Government workers describe anxiety of going without pay in shutdown

(Gray News) - Depending on how long the government funding stalemate lasts, it may affect when taxpayers get refunds from the IRS.

The nearly two-week-old shutdown has left about 800,000 federal workers without paychecks, The New York Times reported.

The IRS is one of the agencies affected by the partial government shutdown that went into effect the Saturday before Christmas. The government is at an impasse over President Donald Trump’s desire for $5 billion to fund a border wall.

The agency will accept tax returns. However, the IRS typically doesn’t issue refunds, perform audits or answer taxpayer questions while under a shutdown, CNN said.

The IRS, currently under non-filing season shutdown plans, will be updating its status as soon as Friday, CNN reported. Though the agency is still operating, it is running with only about 12 percent of its staffing - fewer than 10,000 workers.

And it’s not an ordinary tax year. Taxpayers are filing for their 2018 federal taxes, the first year under the new tax law, which passed in December 2017.

By March 30 of last year, 73 million households had received $212 billion in refunds, Fortune said, and refunds are expected to increase this year.

Taxpayers who expect refunds are usually among the first to file.

The IRS typically distributes refunds fewer then 21 days after a taxpayer files, the agency said.

Copyright 2019 Gray Television Group, Inc. All rights reserved.