Despite Shutdown, If You Owe The IRS, Pay Up. If They Owe You, Forget About It.
Here we are going full steam ahead into tax season as a partial government shutdown passes its two-week point.
It’s no wonder that taxpayers are getting concerned that they may not be getting their tax returns from the IRS in a timely manner.
It’s pretty much a given that during a government shutdown, taxpayers still have to file and pay their tax bills on time.
But, surprise, the IRS is not obligated to send taxpayers their refunds until the government reopens. In fact, the IRS generally does not issue refunds at all during a shutdown.
According to an article in USA Today, “Issuing tax refunds as a “non-excepted” activity — meaning those tasked with processing refunds would be furloughed during a shutdown.” The article also states that, “Meanwhile, several types of tax return processing were deemed “Necessary for the Safety of Human Life or Protection of Government Property.”
So, there are some members of The IRS who are not furloughed during a shutdown. The Wall Street Journal reports that, “only 12.5 percent of the IRS workforce is authorized to work during a shutdown, while the rest of the agency faces furloughs.”
As is always the case, this shutdown and the delay in tax refunds will disproportionately affect low-income Americans.
So, you’ll have to put off paying down your debt for a while, that is, if you get a refund this year with the new tax bill. In fact, more people may be surprised to find out they owe the IRS this year.
Whatever you do, don’t decide not to file your tax return by the deadline. That will get you into real trouble with the IRS.