F.Y.I. (For Your Information)

Millions face delayed tax refunds and cuts to food stamps!


he Trump administration, which had not anticipated a long-term shutdown, recognized only this week the breadth of the potential impact, several senior administration officials said. The officials said they were focused now on understanding the scope of the consequences and determining whether there is anything they can do to intervene.

Treasury Department officials, meanwhile, are trying to determine what to do with the flood of requests for tax refunds that will come in next month. The Internal Revenue Service has sent home close to 90 percent of its staff without pay ahead of an extremely busy time for the tax agency. From late January through March 2 of 2018, the IRS paid out $147.6 billion in tax refunds to 48.5 million households. That money could be frozen within the IRS if the refunds are stalled.

Early last year, as part of its contingency planning for possible government shutdowns, the IRS said it would not issue any tax refunds during a shutdown. Treasury and IRS officials have not said they will completely suspend all tax refunds next month, but a senior administration official said such disbursements would be severely affected and likely slowed if they are paid. Trump has said he is willing to keep agencies shut down as long as necessary to force Democrats to appropriate several billion dollars for the construction of walls along the Mexico border. But some Republicans have said they are uncomfortable with this approach, and several this week sided with Democrats in their effort to reopen agencies immediately.


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