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IRS confirms tax refunds to be issued as scheduled
10 January 2019, 04:41 | Austin Hogan
Tax refunds will be paid despite shutdown White House says Getty Images
IRS offices are closed, tax questions are not being answered and there was a concern that refunds to early-filers this year might not be issued on time if the shutdown drags on, financial experts said.
But on Monday, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, Russell Vought, told reporters on Monday that the Trump administration is working to make the "shutdown as painless as possible", adding that tax "refunds will go out".
As Vox reported last week, the IRS plan was to furlough all but about 10,000 of its workers, (keeping just 12.5 percent of employees working) thus making processing tax refunds hard, if not impossible.
- Food stamps for millions of Americans are at risk of being reduced if government shutdown stretches into February.
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.
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The IRS may decide to bring back some of its furloughed workers as the tax-filing season nears. Vought said, however, that an "indefinite appropriation" was available to pay the refunds. Some have had to reverse decisions or scour their budgets for extra money to try and minimize the impact, a process that intensified last week when Trump said the shutdown could continue for more than a year.
With the White House announcement on refunds, "They're reversing a long-standing legal position", said Howard Gleckman, senior fellow and tax expert at the Urban Institute. The state is waiting for the shutdown to end before accepting tax returns.
While the shutdown's repercussions ripple across the country, Vice-President Mike Pence has told reporters the president has not yet decided whether to declare a national emergency in order to bypass congressional approval for the US-Mexico border wall.
The IRS will pay tax refunds even as the agency is limited in its capabilities because of the governmentshutdown.
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