Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

Tax refunds could be delayed due to government shutdown

Tax refunds could be delayed due to government shutdown

While refunds aren't being processed during the government shutdown, the IRS is taking payments.

"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.

That means it could take longer to receive your tax refund.

And during shutdowns, only a fraction of IRS employees work.

A shutdown that gets resolved within a few weeks would have little ultimate effect on taxpayers, but lawmakers have made little or no movement toward a deal.

As budget negotiations to reopen the government have stalled over President Donald Trump's demand for funding to build a border wall, the risk is growing that tax refunds could be delayed if furloughed IRS workers don't return to work.

Right now, there's no word on when the IRS workers may return to the office. He said some taxpayers were also going to see a delay so the government can make sure their documents aren't fraudulent. As we head into tax season (the IRS hasn't publicized a start date yet), those plans will be updated, a source tells CNN.

"Because if they're counting this, there's not really much we can tell them other than accept we understand it's hard and stuff like that, but we'd recommend they still file the returns and that way they would still get a refund as soon as possible", Olsen said. As of Friday, it's unclear when filing season begins.

Taxpayers who've been counting on a tax refund to pay off credit-card bills from Christmas spending may feel themselves squeezed, in other words.

If you own a small business and pay quarterly tax estimates, consider applying your refund to tax year 2019 rather than having cash returned to you.

Even before the shutdown, there were concerns IRS staffers wouldn't be ready in time for the tax season, given the extent of the changes in the 2017 tax law.

Agriculture Department spokesman Tim Murtaugh said, "We are now looking at options for SNAP..."

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