Professionals say file taxes early despite government shutdown

Devin Lawrence
January 8, 2019

"I understand that the IRS furloughed almost 70,000 IRS employees (87.5 percent of the workforce), ceased needed taxpayer services, and stopped issuing tax refunds during the government shutdown", Neal wrote.

CLEVELAND- If the government shutdown continues, here's a twist: You would still owe your taxes on time.

It is likely, however, if the shutdown were to continue into the start of tax filing season that many more IRS employees will be exempted to handle the extra workload.

And during shutdowns, only a fraction of IRS employees work. You get in line to get that refund issued.

If the shutdown stretches further, Shattuck says it could affect how quickly early filers get their refunds.

A protracted fight between President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders to fund the government could delay payouts of tax refunds to millions of Americans who are owed money.

The tax assistance lines won't be staffed until the shutdown ends. If the shutdown lasts beyond the first few weeks of January, expect at least some delays on the refunds (since, after all, the government is running out of cash).

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"Don't look for this filing season to be open even at the end of January".

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.

Refunds won't be issued until the government is reopened, which could mean trouble for those hoping to have some extra cash in February or March.

The agency has been part of the government shutdown cut backs, retaining only about 12.5% of their workers.

Meanwhile, the IRS will also stop several other functions: audits, return examinations, non-automated collections, and 1040X processing, among other operations.

The tax refund is the single largest financial event of the year for many people, especially who count on large refunds to pay down debt, catch up on bills, or make major purchases.

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