OGDEN, Utah — Officials say with tax season fast approaching, filers seeking money back on their 2018 income taxes could see delayed refunds if the federal government shutdown continues.
The Standard-Examiner reports Jenny Brown, head of the union representing Ogden IRS employees, says with Ogden serving as a support center for income tax inquiries from the general public, those with questions could have a tougher time getting answers.
Brown, who’s president of Local 67 of the National Treasury Employees Union, says with minimal IRS staffing, those with questions are “not going to get through” on IRS phone lines or they’re going to have much longer waits than usual.
The IRS, within the U.S. Department of Treasury, is one of the agencies impacted by the shutdown and is also one of the major job providers in Weber County.
Some 52,000 IRS staffers — about 65 percent of the IRS workforce — have been furloughed just as the tax-filing season is getting underway. And this year, taxpayers and the IRS are facing the most sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax code in three decades.
The new tax law, which took effect a year ago, provides generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans and more modest reductions for middle- and low-income individuals and families.
To avoid lengthy delays in processing tax returns, the IRS may recall some employees to work, in accordance with its contingency plans. But refunds would still likely to be delayed if the shutdown persists because the funding for them wouldn’t be available.
That would hurt retailers that rely on consumers who file their taxes early and spend their refund money in February or March. And any such pullback in spending would weigh on the overall economy.