Government shutdown could make it tough for tax-filers

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

As a partial government shutdown approaches its two-week point, concerns are growing that a heavily impacted Internal Revenue Service will delay issuing taxpayers' refunds.

CLEVELAND- If the government shutdown continues, here's a twist: You would still owe your taxes on time. The IRS would have to suspend tax audits, the Small Business Administration's processing of loan applications would be halted and National Parks would close if the federal government is forced into a partial shutdown because of the budget impasse in Congress.

Only about 12 percent of IRS staff are expected to continue working through a shutdown, according to CNBC.

The average tax refund previous year was $2,800, money that many families rely on to help pay for rent, food and child care, Neal said in the letter.

"It does throw a little bit of wrench into things", said Kyle Pomerleau, economist at the Tax Foundation. That could affect individuals and families that rely on that money. However, she said that she still recommends that her clients here in the Quad Cities submit their income tax returns as they originally planned.

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Many consider it a major financial windfall that they use to help cover costly expenses or boost their yearly savings.

He also encourages taxpayers to not delay filing their tax returns, just because of the stalemate in Washington D.C.

This further muddles an already complex filing season due to the new tax legislation. "The IRS was still figuring that out". As the IRS's contingency plan noted, the law's implementation "requires creating or revising hundreds of tax products including worksheets and tax forms, form instructions and publications as well as changes to current IRS policies and procedures".

Tax filing season begins in mid-January, and returns are due to the IRS by April 15, raising the possibility that tax refunds could be delayed.

"Live telephone assistance is not available at this time", an IRS recording said Thursday. "Normal operations will resume as soon as possible".

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