Government shutdown could hinder speed of tax refund

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Americans may find themselves missing an agency they usually love to hate if the government shutdown persists: the Internal Revenue Service. It is likely, however, if the shutdown were to continue into the start of tax filing season that many more IRS employees will be exempted to handle the extra workload.

File your tax return but don't count on having your refund any time soon.

Nathan Rigney with H&R Block says right now the only immediate impact to the shutdown is calling the IRS to get help when you file.

While refunds may be delayed, if you owe the government money, you will still have to pay it on-time.

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The couple are already parents to 11-month-old Chicago , 3-year-old Saint and North , 5. So, it's definitely a harder experience than I anticipated just in the control area".

The IRS has sent close to 90 percent of its workforce home without pay due to the government's partial shutdown, according to a contingency plan published by the agency in December.

However, the IRS will continue to maintain computer systems to prevent loss of data, maintain safe working conditions for excepted personnel, and continuing criminal enforcement. "Their withholding has also decreased and therefore their refund might be exactly the same as it was in the previous year when they were expecting a bigger refund because of the tax reduction", Fortine explained.

"The commissioner's going to have to make a call: What does this mean for the beginning of the filing season?" said Mark Mazur, who was the top Treasury tax-policy official under President Barack Obama. As of Friday, it's unclear when filing season begins. About 102 million tax refunds were issued a year ago, at a total value of $285 billion, according to eFile, a tax software site.

"You worry about the filing season because of the tax-law changes anyway". "I think people are wondering when this is going to end and how this affects the IRS's ability to process returns and process refunds".