Floridians Could Have Tax Refunds Delayed by Federal Government Shutdown

If the partial federal government shutdown continues in the next several weeks, Florida taxpayers could see a delay in their refunds.

Lauren Simonetti from Fox Business Network noted that though it’s only a partial government shutdown, one of those agencies that is impacted is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)–which  could lead to delays for the millions of Americans looking forward to their refund this year.

Normally in late January, the IRS starts taking in tax returns. But analysts and pundits say taxpayers may start filing earlier because they are expecting bigger refunds this year because of the Trump tax cuts.

Even though it is affected by the government shutdown, the IRS insists it still can do many of its activities including protecting government property, processing returns that come with payments and conducting criminal investigations. But there is a catch: the IRS can’t pay out.

According to Simonetti, taxpayers with questions concerning their return or the new tax laws, won’t be getting answers from the IRS.

There is one some upside since, thanks to the shutdown, the IRS won’t be conducting any audits.

Because of the shutdown, the IRS sent around 90 percent of its staff home with no pay.

Steve Beaman, the chairman of the McGraw Council and a financial columnist for Florida Daily, said millions of Americans rely on their federal tax refunds.

“When it comes to taxpayers getting their tax refund, they look forward to it to help pay off their bills and they want their check immediately,” he said.

Beaman noted there could be some backlash politically if checks are delayed. He also pointed that taxpayers getting bigger returns may mitigate their frustrations.

In the first two months of 2018, the IRS paid out $147.6 billion in tax refunds to 48.5 million households.

Government officials insist if the shutdown gets fixed over the next few weeks, there should be a very limited impact on the tax return process.

Tax Day is Monday, April 15.

 

Contact Ed at Ed.Dean@FloridaDaily.com.

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