Local experts weigh in on how the government shutdown may delay tax refunds

YORK, Pa.  -- Tax season is here and with the government shutdown, experts in York say, there’s a chance you’ll be seeing a delay in you refund this year.

“We just can’t get through," said Claire Weaver, tax partner at Baker Tilly in York. “We’re not really sure what’s going on with the IRS," said Weaver.

With only twelve percent of the IRS currently working, experts say there’s no telling how fast returns will be processed.

“It’s very difficult to get through to the IRS with a phone call, for customer service," said Weaver.

A major problem for those working at accounting firms, trying to sort out problems for client and for those looking to submit for a refund early.

“A lot of people like to file early because they are taking care of Christmas bills that came in, they’re trying to pay down some debt, they want to put a little bit off money into savings," said Weaver.

From bounce back out of office emails, to unanswered phone calls, it’s really all just a waiting game.

“I feel sorry for our clients because when they get a notice about something they’re very nervous so we do try to resolve that immediately for them," said Weaver.

“Everybody is suffering the consequences for the thoughts and opinions of a select few," said Christopher Sokolowski of York.

"At least open the government, let it run, and then work out your issues so it doesn’t affect the common guy," said anonymous.

Experts say the government shutdown,  is also expected to cause delays with recent changes to tax reform laws.

“Many forms need to be updated, software vendors need to update the forms in their systems, they have to send them to governmental agencies to get approval before they can be used, so there’s a lag with all of that," said Weaver.

In a statement, the IRS wrote in part — “We are committed to ensuring that taxpayers receive their funds notwithstanding the government shutdown.”

“We honestly don’t know what’s going to happen, I mean if they only have twelve percent of the workforce in place, it still has to be determined what the IRS is going to be able to process," said Weaver.

The IRS is encouraging people to file their tax returns electronically to minimize  errors and for faster refunds.

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