WVEL News Scope Now: Delayed Tax Returns + Government Shutdown

(Photo By Flickr User 401(K) 2012)

 

For some, tax returns offer relief after overspending during the holiday season, but if you’re counting down the days till you get that refund, you might be waiting longer than expected.

That’s because of the partial government shutdown and its impact on the IRS.

According to WEEK-TV, Kelly Stewart (Co-Owner of Supreme Accounting & Tax Services in Peoria, IL), explained the IRS is “…currently operating at 12.5% of employees which is less than 10,000.”

As the partial government shutdown nears the end of its couple of weeks, the impact on Central Illinois becomes clearer.

“I think the frustration is mounting. There’s a lot of uncertainty.” Donna Driscoll, a professor of business finance for Robert Morris University stated her concerns without hesitation.

She added the political unrest in Washington DC, is trickling down to local economies in the form of halted financial aid, the closure of public buildings and finally, the possibility of delayed tax returns.

“We need to come together to agree on the budget and ensure we’re putting the money where we need to.” Driscoll declared.

If not, she and Stewart warn that refunds and the families who depend on them, will remain in limbo.

“You will not be able to get your refund until the government actually does start back running.” Stewart outlined the penalty, clearly paid by taxpayers if the shutdown continues into filing season.

However, she says in the mean time, the public shouldn’t panic; instead, handle business as usual.

“Please continue to report all income that you have earned for the year.” Stewart joked that using the excuse, ‘the government is closed’ won’t get you out of a future audit from Uncle Sam.

“The IRS is still looking to collect income” she added.

Driscoll on the other hand, sympathizes with families who may have been depending on the money. “What if they had incorporated that into their budgets?” she questioned?

Tax season is a time many began padding their savings, or pay off large medical bills among others.

But not everyone is worried, a local taxpayer joked that his money is safe with Uncle Sam.

Yogesh Salvi, brushed off the idea of any delayed returns. “I’m gonna get it back one day and it might get delayed for a couple of days but like I said, I don’ think that’s going to happen.”

Stewart though, recommends those worried, put it in God’s hands. She joked briefly; “maybe say a prayer for the IRS or the government to come to a budget agreement.”

But she made sure to highlight that her business has seen shutdowns in the past and remains confident this partial shutdown should be resolved well before any taxpayers are impacted.