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IRS Can’t Pay Out Tax Refunds Due To the Government Shutdown

Posted at 12:38 PM, Jan 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-04 17:47:59-05

(CNN) – Americans might find themselves coming up short if the government shutdown persists.

The IRS  is among the federal agencies affected by the government shutdown, as it enters its third week. The IRS is currently working under non-filing season shutdown plans and will be updating those plans ahead of the upcoming tax season as soon as Friday, according to a person familiar with the matter.

During a shutdown, the IRS typically doesn’t perform audits, pay refunds or offer assistance to taxpayers if they have questions, especially outside of the filing season. And while some of the lights may still be on in the building, the agency is currently operating with only 12.5 percent of its workforce, or fewer than 10,000 federal employees.

For now, individuals who call the IRS with questions are greeted with an automated message: “Welcome to the IRS. Live telephone assistance is not available at this time. Normal operations will resume as soon as possible.”