Could tax refunds be delayed if government shutdown continues?

Could tax refunds be delayed if government shutdown continues?
Government shutdown may affect income tax returns.

WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - Tax season is upon us but don’t get too excited for that refund because recent reports show it could be delayed if the partial government shutdown continues.

Today marked day 14 of the partial government shutdown causing many things to remain closed.

CNN reports show during a shutdown the IRS typically doesn't perform audits, pay refunds or offer assistance to taxpayers.

Right now, if a person would try to call the IRS with questions, an automated line would say "Live telephone assistance is not available at this time. Normal operations will resume as soon as possible."

According to CNN, ‘the agency is currently operating with only 12.5% of its workforce or fewer than 10,000 federal employees.’

Meaning if the partial government shutdown continues, their is a possibility income tax refunds could be delayed.

A viewer posted on our Newschannel 6 Facebook page saying they hope income tax returns are delivered on time.

While many are expressing their concerns, Genevieve Anderson the director for the VITA program, said while there is always a potential, she doesn't see a big problem with it.

“I know that last year when we had a government shut down, it didn’t affect our returns at all,” said Anderson. “With the government shut down now, they’re not even going to be accepting returns for another three or four weeks depending on when their actual date is, I don’t really expect to see a big delay.”

That’s because the IRS hasn’t announced when people and businesses can start submitting their income tax returns. Anderson believes it’s all because of the new tax laws.

"They've got to make sure that everything is in place and ready to go before they say yes we're going to accept returns," said Anderson.

Meanwhile, she recommends everyone to start gathering their tax paperwork now.

“Check the IRS database, five days to two weeks depending on what it says this year and see what your status is,” said Anderson.

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