Possible Government Shutdown Could Affect Tax Refunds

By: Janelle Lilley Email
By: Janelle Lilley Email

As the prospect of a government shutdown looms, many in the Valley are concerned they'll feel the impact in their bank accounts.

As people continue to file their taxes before the April 18 deadline, some are wondering how long it could take to get their refunds.

For some Valley residents who are taking advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit, a delay in returns might mean a delay in paying bills. Some residents are also still taking advantage of the free help sponsored by the Community Action Partnership.

Anna Leavitt, of CAP, says the free help was an idea brought forth by the Internal Revenue Service when it was discovered that not enough people in this area were claiming the EITC.

"People in this locality are not claiming the tax credits that are available to them at the rate they should," explains Leavitt.

Many people have already received their returns, according to tax expert Helen Martin.

"If they file their return today, they will get their return not next Friday but the following Friday," explains Martin.

That is, if the possible government shutdown doesn't become reality.

Some experts say only essential IRS functions would continue, and that doesn't include processing your refund.

Leavitt says a shutdown and delayed refunds could hurt several families in this area.

"Certainly not having that money and not having that peace of mind will have a negative impact on a far-reaching scale," says Leavitt.

Leavitt says many are counting on the money from refunds to catch up on bills.

In addition to the possibility of late refunds, many who are helping with tax preparation rely on the IRS Call Center to answer any difficult questions.

Some experts say the call center would be shut down as well, and people would need to rely on the Website instead.

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