The White House said that a directive would be issued Monday allowing the IRS to process tax refunds during a prolonged government shutdown.
Russell T. Vought, acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told reporters about the development in a briefing, CNBC reported.
During a shutdown, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) only retains about 12.5% of its workforce, or 9,946 of its nearly 80,000 employees, according to its contingency plan.
According to that plan during a shutdown, the IRS will continue to process returns and it will accept payments. If you owe money to the government, it’s still due by April 15, shutdown or not.
Under that plan, no refunds are issued. The White House now says those refunds will be issued.
The IRS has not announced the date to start filing returns for the 2018 tax year.
The IRS may recall a large number of furloughed employees to process returns — probably without pay — in accordance with its contingency plans. But with the shutdown in its third week, concern was growing that hundreds of billions of dollars in refunds would be delayed until the shutdown ends because funding for them wouldn’t be available.
Vought says the administration is changing the customary rules “from past administrations.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.