The possible federal government shutdown could, for the first time, affect people’s tax returns. Congress has until Friday to pass a funding extension or services from certain federal agencies will be put on hold. This is the first time the country has faced a shutdown during tax season with the deadline for filing on April 18th.
Mark Sanderson, an accountant in Cedar Rapids, says people are starting to call his office with questions about how the shutdown would impact their returns. “At this point, the answer we have to give them is nobody knows for sure,” Sanderson said. If the government shuts down, people won’t be able to contact the Internal Revenue Service.
“We can continue to process tax returns, we might not be able to file them, but we can get them ready so as soon as they accept them again we can send them,” Sanderson said. Most people calling Sanderson’s office are wondering when they’ll receive their tax refund. The shutdown would also cause delays for anyone who pays income taxes.
IRS officials say e-filers won’t see any delay, but traditional paper filers could see delays of an unknown length if the federal government is shutdown. Other things that would be affected by a shutdown include national parks and museums, passport offices and the Federal Housing Administration. Troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan could also see a delay in their paychecks.
By Jillian Petrus, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids