The Internal Revenue Service is one of the agencies that now lacks funding, and the US tax collector has been operating with about 1 in 8 employees under the shutdown plan it uses outside the tax-filing season.
"Relevant authority has established that tax revenues constitute Government property which the Service must safeguard during a lapse in appropriations", according to the IRS. It is likely, however, if the shutdown were to continue into the start of tax filing season that many more IRS employees will be exempted to handle the extra workload. Those who need the refunds the most are also usually among the first to file during the January to April tax season.
As the government shutdown enters another week, federal agencies like the IRS are feeling the effects. If the shutdown continues, it could mean a delay in billions of dollars in income-tax refunds. That's on top of an already complicated tax season, due to the myriad of new regulations ushered in by 2017's sweeping tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. That could affect individuals and families that rely on that money.
Land is owner of "B MAC Tax Services" and has been talking with other tax experts to help answer clients' questions about the shutdown. The government may add people back to staff its toll-free phone lines once filing season starts, though it hasn't provided details yet. The reduced workforce means the much-anticipated federal tax refunds could be delayed.
Right now, there's no word on when the IRS workers may return to the office.
While filing will begin in just a few weeks, those filling out their taxes will be unable to speak to someone if they have questions if the government is shut down.
"A lot of people count on these refunds", Jeff Olsen, Tax Partner Berndt CPA, said. "Normal operations will resume as soon as possible".