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TAX RETURN

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The Government Shutdown Could Keep You From Getting A Tax Refund

If you thought the government shutdown wouldn’t affect your daily life, it might be time to think again.

As the partial shutdown approaches its two-week point, concerns are growing that a heavily impacted IRS will delay taxpayers’ getting their refunds.

The agency has categorized issuing tax refunds as a “non-excepted” activity — meaning that those tasked with processing refunds would be furloughed during their shutdown. Meanwhile, several types of tax return processing were deemed “Necessary for the Safety of Human Life or Protection of Government Property.”

That’s according to a December shutdown plan, which  lays out the first five business days of the agency’s response during a shutdown occurring outside of tax season. While the document notes the plan can be reassessed and furloughed employees can be recalled, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the IRS generally does not issue refunds during a shutdown.

The IRS plan says that only 12.5 percent of the IRS workforce is authorized to work during a shutdown, while the rest of the agency faces furloughs. That plan could be revised as soon as Friday, as the agency shifts into tax season, which typically starts in mid-January.

Budget negotiations to reopen the government have stalled over President Donald Trump’s demand for funding a border wall, which means the risk is growing that tax refunds could be delayed if these aforementioned IRS workers don’t return to work soon.

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