Americans to receive tax refunds despite government shutdown

Cornelia Mascio
Gennaio 10, 2019

According to The Washington Post, during the previous administrations, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said it would not pay tax refunds during a government shutdown. If the shutdown lasts even longer than that there could be a delay in tax returns, but people in Rapid City aren't anxious about the shutdown affecting tax season.

The Wall Street Journal reported that in past, administrations have said refunds can't be paid while the government is shut down: "The administration's legal argument wasn't clear on Monday", the paper said.

"The processing of returns and customer service - most of those employees have been furloughed", Nicole Kaeding, director of federal projects at the Tax Foundation, told CNBC. Still, hundreds of billions in refunds would likely still be delayed because funding wouldn't be available, under current rules.

Many hardworking families are counting on their tax refunds to catch up on bills or pay down their debt.

"The The IRS hasn't yet announced the start date to file tax returns this year, but says it's on track to begin in late January or early February".

This afternoon reporter Paula Reid confirmed with White House officials that tax refunds will go out. The move seeks to circumvent a potential political problem for the Trump administration by allowing taxpayers to claim refunds despite the government shutdown, which is already dragging into Day 17.

The decision comes as President Donald Trump weighs declaring an emergency over his demand for border wall funding, the cause of the shutdown.

To minimize errors and provide faster refunds, the IRS recommends people to file their tax returns electronically. That's within the normal timeframe.

Traditionally, during other shutdowns, the agency would wait until the government was funded.

April 15 is the deadline for most taxpayers to submit 2018 tax returns, taxpayers who live in ME or MA have until April 17 to file due to state holidays. Enacted by Republicans in December 2017, the changes provided for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts mainly financed by government deficits.

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