White House: Tax refunds will be paid despite govt. shutdown

WASHINGTON – Taxpayers won’t have to wait until the federal government is back up and running to get their refunds this year: a White House official says that refunds will be issued on time, despite the shutdown.

“Tax refunds will go out,” Russell Vought, acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told reporters at a Monday news briefing, according to a report from Bloomberg News.

Vought said the Trump administration, which is locked in a stalemate with Congress over border wall funding, is working to make the shutdown as “painless as possible,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Monday’s announcement puts to bed any lingering concerns that the release of tax refunds could be delayed by the ongoing shutdown, which affects the Internal Revenue Service among other agencies.

In years past, the IRS has accepted tax returns during shutdowns, but hasn’t paid out refunds until normal operations resume. The agency is currently working with just a fraction of its workforce.

Tax filing season typically begins in mid-January. The IRS has not yet announced when individuals and businesses can file their returns, but it’s anticipated they could later this month or early next month.

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