Government Shutdown Would Delay Tax Refunds for Millions of Families

By Kate Skochdopole

If Congress and the Trump administration can’t agree on a budget by April 28, the resulting government shutdown would not only furlough thousands of federal workers but also prevent millions of families from receiving tax refunds.

New research from the Center for American Progress shows that if the government shuts down for two weeks starting at midnight on April 28, refunds totaling $8 billion would be delayed for 2.5 million working families. During the last government shutdown in October 2013, 90 percent of IRS workers were furloughed and refunds totaling $2.2 billion for individuals and $1.5 billion for businesses were delayed. If the government shuts down in the next couple of weeks in the middle of tax season, the interruption would be far worse.

For low- and middle-income workers, many of whom depend on collecting tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit for their financial well-being, waiting longer for their refund check could mean missing rent for the month or falling behind on car payments.

Legislators continue to negotiate a budget deal, but cooling relations between Congress and President Trump make a shutdown more likely.

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