How the government shutdown could impact tax returns

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It’s been two weeks since a partial government shutdown began. Sixty-five percent of employees at the Internal Revenue Service are not working right now due to the partial government shutdown. 

Tax-filing season usually begins mid-to-late January, but because of the shutdown, the IRS hasn’t announced a date yet. 

CPA and tax attorney Paul Mancinone told 22News this could be problematic because of massive changes made to tax laws that went into effect in 2018. 

“Some software, for example mine, isn’t calculating a few things quite the way I anticipated as I studied throughout the year,” said Mancinone. “Who do you call for clarification on that? There’s nobody to call.”

The IRS may bring some workers back to process tax returns, but actually issuing refunds would still likely be delayed if the shutdown continues because the funding for them wouldn’t be available. 

“I’m upset because I work hard,” said Springfield resident Treyvon Gayle. “If I don’t get my tax return I’m going to be mad.”

Mancinone said people should still file their tax returns when they receive all the necessary paperwork, like W-2s, even though processing could take a while. 

“Remember, they will have a tremendous backlog before they can get back up to speed,” said Mancinone. 

You will also be able to file for an extension on your taxes during the shutdown. If you owe money to the government, it’s still due by April 15, shutdown or not.

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