Tax refunds could be delayed due to government shutdown

Tax refunds could be delayed due to government shutdown

Tax refunds could be delayed due to government shutdown

Taxpayers who file early in tax season may not receive their refunds in a timely manner because of the partial government shutdown that began on December 22, according to The Wall Street Journal.

During the shutdown, the IRS can do many of its activities, such as protecting government property, process returns that come with payments and conduct criminal investigations.

"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".

Right now, the IRS is working under a contingency plan for the non-filing season that has it operating with only 12.5% of its employees.

Even though tax day is April 15 each year, that does not mean the partial government shutdown couldn't potentially be disrupting for tax refunds before then.

"It does throw a little bit of wrench into things", said Kyle Pomerleau, economist at the Tax Foundation. However, she said that she still recommends that her clients here in the Quad Cities submit their income tax returns as they originally planned. If it continues, it may pressure lawmakers to make quick decisions to end the shutdown.

The longer that continues, the greater the chance that tax returns - and refunds - will be impacted.

In addition, there is a new 1040 form this year because of the new tax law that was passed just more than a year ago. "The IRS was still figuring that out".

But as Politico reported, that could change as tax filing season begins - and some workers could get called back and be expected to work without pay (at least until they get back pay once the government reopens).

For now, individuals who call the IRS with questions are greeted with an automated message: "Welcome to the IRS".

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