Taxes still due, but refunds delayed if government shutdown continues


H&R Block Senior Tax Analyst Jon Helpling says that taxpayers shouldn't wait for a shutdown resolution before filing their taxes, even if the potential for a lengthy tax refund delay exists.

Representative Richard Neal, a Democrat who is the new chairman of the House of Representatives tax-writing committee, expressed concern that the IRS, the US tax agency, has already furloughed most of its work force and stopped issuing tax refunds since the partial government shutdown began December 22.

And during shutdowns, only a fraction of IRS employees work. You just not might get a refund, according to The Wall Street Journal.

James Gundersdorff, an accountant licensed by the U.S. Treasury, told WTVD that the shutdown is a "huge deal" for tax season and said people won't be getting money "any time soon".

Tax filing season begins in mid-January, and returns are due to the IRS by April 15 -raising the possibility that the shutdown could hit taxpayers who are depending on a speedy refund.

The Daily Caller executive editor Vince Coglianese discusses how a partial government shutdown will impact the American people.

During a shutdown, only 12.5 percent of the IRS workforce is authorized to work.

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The longer that continues, the greater the chance that tax returns - and refunds - will be impacted.

First, tax refunds won't be issued.

Meanwhile, the IRS will also stop several other functions: audits, return examinations, non-automated collections, and 1040X processing, among other operations.

The IRS directed ABC News to the lapsed contingency plan in response to further questions.

A 16 day government shutdown in 2013 meant delays for more than $2.2 billions in tax refunds.

So how will the changes most directly affect taxpayers who owe the IRS?