Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

The government shutdown could delay your tax refund

The government shutdown could delay your tax refund

The December shutdown plan states that the agency will also not be updating tax forms, performing audits, or answering phone help lines.

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

The IRS generally doesn't issue tax refunds during a shutdown, CNN reported. "Those temporary workers are out of work due to this shutdown".

You still have to pay, but your refund may get held up.

James Gundersdorff, an accountant licensed by the U.S. Treasury, told WTVD that the shutdown is a "huge deal" for tax season and said people won't be getting money "any time soon".

The average tax refund past year was $2,800, money that many families rely on to help pay for rent, food and child care, Neal said in the letter.

"Don't look for this filing season to be open even at the end of January".

He said people can go ahead and file now but getting the return will likely be delayed until the IRS workers who process returns are able to get back to work and that could cause a lot of hardship on families who count on that money.

During the shutdown, the IRS has lost funding and is operating with about 12% of its employees, according to Rubin.

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. However, if the government doesn't open by then, he said it's nearly guaranteed that refunds will be delayed.

One group that could be affected: those still waiting on tax refunds from before 2018.

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. That work is likely to be stalled by a shutdown. The IRS is already going to have to update its contingency plan now that the shutdown has lasted longer than five business days.

So how will the changes most directly affect taxpayers who owe the IRS?

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