Would a government shutdown impact tax refunds?

By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 7, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Lawmakers are facing a midnight deadline on Thursday to hammer out the budget before another potential government shutdown.

Besides the closure of some government services, there's something else at stake this time around; tax returns.

Many people are asking if they can file during a shutdown, and when they would they get their money if they're getting a refund.

Spencer Ingram with Ingram Accounting and Consulting in Tallahassee says the good news is, the United States Treasury - which the IRS is under - has a contingency plan.

Ingram says the government's contingency plan includes sending home non-essential employees during the shutdown. Those considered essential will be providing services.

He says you may run into problems if you file your taxes by mail because nobody will be there to process the papers.

Ingram says if you file through mail, your refund could be delayed. But, if you e-file, you should be OK.

"What it means for you is to e-file, pretty much. The government has been pushing e-file for at least the last 10 to 12 years. It just goes back to it's time to step up into the electronic age. Once you do that, you shouldn't have any problems at all," Ingram said.

Ingram says the only other potential problem is if someone has issues with the IRS. It would be hard getting someone on the phone or finding a representative to assist you.

If there is a shutdown and you send your taxes through the mail, Ingram says any delay in your refund would depend on how long the shutdown lasts.

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