Considering Team CASSIUS was just fretting over this at the office yesterday, this news couldn’t have come at a better time. CNN reports that we’ll all still be receiving our tax refunds despite this government shutdown mess.
Word came in Monday from acting director of the Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought, who assured reporters that “tax refunds will go out.” He added that the Trump
Lair is working to make the shutdown “as painless as possible, consistent with the law.” Whatever that means.
We’ll be honest by saying that we’re not getting too excited just yet—especially since the announcement comes in opposition to a long-standing policy that refunds are to be held during shutdowns—but it’s still good news. According to CNN, during a shutdown, “the IRS typically doesn’t perform audits, pay refunds or offer assistance to taxpayers if they have questions, especially outside of the filing seasons.” A senior administration official told CNN that the OMB is acting upon its decision based on a 2011 IRS memo that argued tax refunds can in fact be paid during a shutdown.
Let’s hope for the best.
“We are committed to ensuring that taxpayers receive their refunds notwithstanding the government shutdown,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement, which adds that the agency “has always held the view that it has the authority to pay out tax refunds despite a lapse of appropriations during a shutdown.”
So don’t plan on skipping out on filing your returns this year just yet (though we really wouldn’t have advised that in the first place). As you know too well, tax-filing season usually begins in mid-January. No word from the IRS regarding when we can start submitting those income tax returns, but an announcement will likely come soon, so get those documents ready.