Will the Government Shutdown Delay My Tax Refund?

Despite the shutdown, the IRS says it will provide refunds to taxpayers without delay. We’re not so sure.

As the record-setting government shutdown drags on and thousands of IRS employees sit at home, many Americans are understandably concerned about getting their tax refunds on time. However, the IRS has said that refunds will go out “as scheduled.” Whether that actually happens remains to be seen.

How will they do this? The IRS says that a significant portion of its workforce will be called back to work to process tax returns and issue refunds. More details regarding the IRS’s plans are expected soon, but there’s already resistance from the National Treasury Employees Union. The union has filed a lawsuit challenging the IRS’s ability to force employees to work without pay. If the IRS can’t recall enough employees, then the plan to issue refunds in a timely manner seems shaky.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.