IRS shutdown could impact tax returns

Before the shutdown, the IRS was still trying to update its systems to process taxes with the new laws passed last year.

Posted: Jan 4, 2019 5:27 PM
Updated: Jan 7, 2019 7:14 AM

There is a new concern as the partial government shutdown drags on. Tax season is here and the IRS workers who process returns are out of work. That has tax preparers and filers wondering what will happen.

"So if the shutdown lasts a very long time and several months, then we are going to see a lot of people who should've gotten refunds that aren't going to get those refunds until the shutdown is resolved," said Joseph Bearden.

Joseph Bearden is a certified public accountant. He said he's already had clients asking how the shutdown will impact their tax returns and when they should file their taxes. He said people can go ahead and file now but getting the return will likely be delayed until the IRS workers who process returns are able to get back to work and that could cause a lot of hardship on families who count on that money.

"It's going to hurt your pocketbook, going to mess your plans up, you know, because like you say, some people depends on it to pay they're bills," said Wesley Harris, a retiree. 

Bearden said before the shutdown, the IRS was still trying to update its systems to process taxes with the new laws passed last year, so there was likely going to be a delay anyway. He said some taxpayers were also going to see a delay so the government can make sure their documents aren't fraudulent.

"Low income people getting their earned income credits, or the additional child credits, also the people getting the American opportunity education credit, those were going to be delayed anyway," said Bearden.

In the meantime, taxpayers will be on edge as the shutdown drags out.

"Why in the world is the government controlling everybody else's money when they sitting fat on the hog?" said Harris.

Right now, there's no word on when the IRS workers may return to the office.

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