Government Shutdown- Trouble Brewing For Those Anticipating a Tax Return

According to IRS (the nation’s tax collector), the tax season will begin by the end of this month and they will start sending people their tax refunds, irrespective of the government shutdown. Although the news comes like a relief for all those who are anticipating a tax return, trouble can still be seen brewing in the background.

How Will the Federal Shutdown Affect Taxpayers and Why?

The government shutdown was expected to end by the mid of January. But, since President Trump and the Democrats have not yet arrived at a point of agreement, the shutdown can be seen continuing for another couple of weeks. Although the IRS declared that it will start sending taxpayers their refunds as the tax season begins, it may not be a possibility because the government is facing an obvious shortage of funds. A majority of federal employees have temporarily been rendered unemployed due to the government shutdown and problems will only rise from here.

As a result of the federal shutdown, a lot is currently standing between you and your tax refund. Here are some of the issues that might keep you from getting your tax return in the coming months:

Uncertainty Regarding Rules

Accountants need proper guidelines and regulations to determine how the tax refunds of majority filers will get affected. For example, small business owners are looking forward to a 20-percent qualified business income deduction. Normally, the pass-through entities such as sole proprietorships and S-corps qualify for this tax break. So, the accountants need to be well-versed with the regulations before they go on to guide filers through the 2018 returns. The federal government shutdown has slowed down the process significantly.

Workforce either Furloughed or Made To Work without Pay

As a result of the government shutdown, the IRS rolled out its contingency plan, according to which, at least 12.5 percent (or somewhere around 10,000) of the federal workforce will be enforced to work without pay. Whereas, the remaining will be rendered furloughed for the time being. The tax season, however, is expected to bring the workforce on the floor. Though the workforce will work without pay, for now, they will be paid once the government reopens.

The IRS gets approximately 95 million calls each year. Among those furloughed are the personnel responsible for taking care of the queries of the filers. This directly implies that the common man will face a very hard time if they want to get their queries resolved.

Staff Processing Amended Returns Furloughed

Among the large number of staff that was furloughed, was the workforce responsible for processing the amended tax returns, which are done more manually compared to the other returns. This also implies that the tax filers having amended returns will have to wait a while longer to receive their tax refund this year.

A Final Word

The longest government shutdown in years has started to create a huge set of problems for the tax filers all over America. Also, it is not just the tax filers who are affected. The shutdown has impacted everyone, in one way or the other. From travelers to farmers to the ordinary Americans, the impact can be seen affecting one and all. In conclusion, there is just one thing to say: the longer the shutdown continues the greater and worse will be the impact.