Government Shutdown Could Delay Your Tax Refund

Elaine Thompson  AP

But fear not! While the Internal Revenue Service now lacks the funds to process refunds, it is fully prepared to process tax returns that include payments to the government.

"The unknown. The unknown of when the IRS is going to start accepting tax returns, when the government is going to open back up, when can we expect our refund", said tax adviser Marlena Curtis. 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.

This year, the April 15 tax deadline won't change with or without the government shutdown. By March 30, the IRS had paid $212 billion to 73 million households, so the longer the shutdown continues, the more potential it has to delay or disrupt tax refunds.

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The IRS retains only about 10,000 of its normal 80,000 employees during a shutdown.

The Federal government has been shut down for several weeks and, as we enter into tax season, there could be serious repercussions for taxpayers.

Tax filing season usually begins in mid-January, and if the shutdown is resolved by then it may have little lasting impact on taxpayers.

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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.

"A lot of families rely on this income, so that's going to be the biggest issue", said Alejandra Pino, a tax preparer for Shining Accounting Services in Harrisonburg.

Land is owner of "B MAC Tax Services" and has been talking with other tax experts to help answer clients' questions about the shutdown.

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"All rules still apply, need to get taxes filed, if you owe, pay, need to pay taxes on time", Land said. However, if the halt continues, people won't get a refund until the government reopens.

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