The IRS says the shutdown will delay the tax filing start time by at least a week, but possibly more.
Count a few more victims of the government shutdown: the millions of taxpayers soon to be waiting for their tax refunds.
According to the IRS, those two-plus weeks in October when the government closed over a congressional budget impasse amounted to lost time when the bureau would normally have been busy testing and programming the tax-processing systems for the upcoming season. More than 90% of IRS employees were furloughed during the shutdown.
The IRS said it will start processing tax returns at least a week later than the planned Jan. 21 start date, and possibly as late as Feb. 4. That means tax refunds will be delayed by 1-2 weeks for millions of early filers. The tax preparation company H&R block said in a statement that an estimated 18 million people typically file a tax return in January.
Of course, there could be more of a delay if the government shuts down again over the Jan. 15 budget deadline, when the current authorization for governemnt spending runs out.