Government shutdown could mean delayed tax returns

Jonathan Ernst  Reuters FILEA view of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service headquarters in Washington D.C

Jonathan Ernst Reuters FILEA view of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service headquarters in Washington D.C

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

A major pain point in negotiations was President Donald Trump's wall, which he wants to build along the southern border of the United States.

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.

Neal wrote to Charles Rettig, the head of the IRS, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to request information about how the shutdown will affect the IRS's ability to process tax returns and provide refunds. It notes that federal employees who work in positions with these functions would be furloughed.

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Knuff, who has prepared tax returns in Cleveland for 40 years, said people have gotten use to receiving their refunds in just a couple weeks. So, yes, one would think by March, tax season, refunds and tax money would be starting to flow into our economy.

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

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

The long version: As part of the government shutdown, the IRS planned to keep 12.5 percent of its workforce, or fewer than 10,000 federal employees, working.

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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).

First, tax refunds won't be issued.

Looking back at a year ago, by February 2, 2018, the IRS had paid $12.6 billion in refunds to more than six million households.

But if a deal isn't reached anytime soon, those who need the refund the most are the most likely to be affected.

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