Tax Refunds Delayed During Shutdown

If you filed a tax extension in April, taxes are still due Oct. 15 despite the government shutdown. Just don't expect to get any help, be able to speak to an IRS employee or get your refund back until the shutdown ends.

Although everyone heaves a sigh of relief in April because taxes are done, the reality is that some filed an extension, which gave them another six months to get their taxes wrapped up.

However, the Oct. 15 extension deadline is fast approaching, and the government is still in the midst of a partial shutdown. Plenty of government agencies are working with a bare bones staff — so how does that affect the 12 million who filed an extension?

Well, the deadline is still in place. The electronic payment system will continue to operate normally, but the American Institute of CPAs recommends printing the confirmation page for any payments you make. Unfortunately, tax refunds will not be issued until normal government operations resume, according to H&R Block.

Plus, the IRS workforce is down to just 10%. That means approximately 86,000 IRS employees will be placed on unpaid leave during the government shutdown. While H&R Block is reporting that there will be longer wait times for the IRS’ hotline, Forbes said that all telephone hotlines will be closed, along with walk-in assistance centers.

Forbes couldn’t help but highlight the silver lining of the government shutdown — no audits. According to Forbes, the IRS is suspending all audit activities during the government shutdown.

But, Criminal Investigation employees are among the few IRS workers excepted from furlough. They will continue working nearly 4,600 active criminal investigations.

Remember how the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges just opened enrollment? (How could you forget?) Well the ACA Office will also be open as it has to coordinate the implementation of the ACA.