The government shutdown could delay your tax refund

U.S. taxpayers looking forward to their refund this year, might not what to spend it until its actually in your pocket.

A prolonged  government shutdown would likely delay billions of dollars in income-tax refunds, according to the Wall Street Journal.

One government agency affected is the Internal Revenue Service.

You still have to pay, but your refund may get held up.

During the shutdown, the IRS can do many of its activities, such as protecting government property, process returns that come with payments and conduct criminal investigations.

But the agency can’t pay out.

A shutdown that gets resolved within a few weeks would have little ultimate effect on taxpayers, but lawmakers have made little or no movement toward a deal.

That stalemate raises the prospect of an unprecedented extended closure during the individual income-tax filing season, which typically starts in mid-to-late January.

Looking back at last year, by Feb. 2, 2018, the IRS had paid $12.6 billion in refunds to more than six million households.

For many Americans, the tax refund is the single largest financial event of the year, and the people who tend to file early in the season are taxpayers who count on large refunds to pay down debt and catch up on bills.

The upcoming filing season was already going to be challenging for the IRS because the tax-law changes affect the forms and rules for individual filers, which was likely to cause more questions and more calls than usual.