Administration: Government shutdown won’t delay tax refunds

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Millions of USA taxpayers will still receive refunds despite an ongoing partial government shutdown, the White House has said.

Sam Berger, who worked in the general counsel's office at OMB during a shutdown in the Obama administration, said the new decision reverses years of precedent and runs contrary to the Antideficiency Act, the law establishing that federal agencies can not spend money that has not been authorized by Congress.

If you visit the Internal Revenue Service website, you'll see an alert that reads, "Due to the current budget situation, all IRS offices are closed".

Prior to today's announcement, the IRS had said that tax refunds were among the agency's "non-excepted activities" that are impacted by a shutdown and therefore not carried out.

"Within the first week of the 2018 filing season, the company says more than 18.3 million people claimed about $12.6 billion in refunds". He told reporters an "indefinite appropriation" was available for the refunds, which would go out as normal.

The country's tax collector is among the federal agencies affected by the partial government shutdown, which is now in its third week. He added, per The Hill: "We have been trying to make this as painless as possible consistent with the law". It is particularly notable considering President Trump suggested over the weekend that the situation could last for a "really long time". Sens. Warner and Kaine have called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a vote on a House-passed spending bill that would reopen the government and allow hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors to go back to work.

Perhaps worst of all for taxpayers is that the IRS' contingency plan for "lapsed appropriations" (i.e., a government shutdown) classifies "issuing refunds" as a "non-excepted activity" - meaning that processing refund payments is not deemed essential and therefore may not be attended to while the shutdown remains in effect.

Remember that big tax cut approved by Congress and the president?

"The decision will come as a relief to many taxpayers who file their taxes as soon as the filing season begins to claim their refund checks", Boomberg reports.

"There is a pot of money to pay refunds, but there is not a pot of money to do the work to actually pay the refunds", Berger said.

No end is in sight for the shutdown yet and Trump says he's not willing to bend.

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