A White House official said Monday that federal income tax returns would go out despite the partial government shutdown. Although refund checks will still be printed if the shutdown drags on, the shutdown could make it challenging for taxpayers to contact the IRS.
Acting OMB Director Russell Vought told reporters that the administration is attempting to make the shutdown as "painless as possible consistent with the law". Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee said they began to see indications over the weekend that the White House was looking for a legal justification to reverse existing policy and allow refunds to be issued.
It could also slow down the time it takes for the IRS to process tax returns. Still, hundreds of billions in refunds would likely still be delayed because funding wouldn't be available, under current rules. "There is an indefinite appropriation to pay tax refunds". The IRS has not yet announced when individuals and businesses can file their returns, but it's anticipated they could later this month or early next month.
The House plans to bring up a measure Tuesday to fund the agency through the rest of the fiscal year, a move likely to be opposed by Senate Republicans and the White House.
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Last year, the IRS began accepting returns on January 29. That's within the normal timeframe.
Government shutdowns force impacted agencies to severely curtail their operations, sending workers home without pay and eliminating certain services and programs. "I appreciate the hard work of the employees and their commitment to the taxpayers during this period". "We can't file. And since the tax law changed so much, there's a likelihood that there may be a delay" in starting the filing season, he added.
Remember that big tax cut approved by Congress and the president?
The decision will come as a relief to many taxpayers who file their taxes as soon as the filing season begins to claim their refund checks, which averaged $2,899 previous year. But it ended up cutting in other areas, with the result that the agency budget is about the same - $11.4 billion - as in recent years.
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