How Will the Government Shutdown Affect Tax Returns in 2019?

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Only about 1 out of 8 IRS workers work during the shutdown.

During the shutdown, the IRS can do many of its activities, such as protecting government property, process returns that come with payments and conduct criminal investigations.

"One is that during the shutdown they wont release refunds, so even if you file your tax return until the government reopens, they wont issue you your refunds".

New Worries emerge with the federal government shutdown, tax returns.

"Because if they're counting this, there's not really much we can tell them other than accept we understand it's hard and stuff like that, but we'd recommend they still file the returns and that way they would still get a refund as soon as possible", Olsen said.

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The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the Internal Revenue Service is one of the federal agencies without funding and is being run with one-eighth of its normal staffing as the government shutdown continues.

"It does throw a little bit of wrench into things", said Kyle Pomerleau, economist at the Tax Foundation. But, if the shutdown continues, he says, "It could be six, seven, or eight weeks".

While the lack of refunds could affect early filers, it's less likely to do so for those in higher tax brackets.

If the government shutdown continues, it could delay any refund that's due. Those who need the refunds the most are also usually among the first to file during the January to April tax season. Live telephone assistance is not available at this time.

In the meantime, some IRS employees are still working to implement the Republican tax plan, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which contained its own funding for two fiscal years. "The IRS was still figuring that out".

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