We’re currently in the 35th day of the longest government shutdown in the history of the United States and more than 800,000 federal employees (in addition to 4 million contractors) have gone without pay as it continues to drag on with no real end in sight.
While the people who work for the government are obviously feeling the brunt of the blow, with each passing day, the general public is increasingly impacted by the ripple effect as the TSA struggles to staff the same airports that have had to ground flights due to a lack of air traffic controllers.
Of course, it’s not just travelers who are being impacted by the shutdown— craft beer drinkers have also been deprived of new brews thanks to the closure of the bureau responsible for approving labels and recipes.
However, based on the reactions to something I wrote last week, it looks like there’s one issue in particular people are concerned about: how the shutdown will affect their tax refunds.
Tax season will officially kick off on Monday and the IRS has recalled thousands of employees to make sure things go as smoothly as they can considering the circumstances.
Unfortunately, around half of them are taking advantage of a loophole that allows them to skip work if it causes them to suffer a hardship, which doesn’t exactly bode well for people who are hoping to get their tax refund in a timely manner.
With that said, according to USA Today, you don’t have to be super worried assuming you file your return electronically and opt for direct deposit over a physical check:
[T]he tax process is largely automated for tax returns filed electronically and for refunds delivered by direct deposit, according to industry insiders. Only returns that trigger a review during the automated process could face delays.
Almost nine in 10 tax returns were filed electronically last year, according to IRS statistics, while eight in 10 refunds were distributed to taxpayers by direct deposit. Nearly all tax professionals and tax preparation software will file your returns electronically.
In my experience, filing online is a pretty painless process, but if you’re looking to get the best return on your return, you’re going to want to have an expert in your corner and it’s hard to go wrong with TurboTax.
Feel free to thank me later.