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2 weeks ago

As Washington and the country continue to debate the impact of the current federal government shutdown, it appears that the Internal Revenue Service is saying that it won’t be able to issue tax returns until the government reopens.

But never fear –  you can still pay your taxes!

You can’t make this stuff up.

“Though the government continues to dip its hand into Americans’ hard-earned funds, The Wall Street Journal reports that early filers will likely not see their refunds so long as the government remains shut down,” Reason reports. But “while the Internal Revenue Service currently lacks the funds to process refunds, it is fully prepared to process tax returns that include payments to the government.”

“In other words, you can still pay the government,” Reason notes, “but the government won’t be returning anything it took in excess.”

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Americans rely on their tax returns

Obviously, many Americans, especially in lower income brackets, count on their tax returns each year. In turn, many retailers expect a jump in consumer activity beginning in February when people begin spending their returns.

But both these things might not happen this year if the shutdown continues.

The partial federal government shutdown began right before Christmas because President Trump is insisting on funding for a border wall and Democrats are refusing his request. Pursuing wall funding will be even more difficult now that Democrats have overtaken the House. It will be interesting to see how the politics play out and if the government re-opens sooner than later.

Still, the notion that a government agency like the Internal Revenue Service can operate well enough to take our money but cannot return money owed to us, should tell us everything we need to know about how government operates.

How about we re-open the government and just shut down the IRS?

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