There’s good news if you’ve been fretting over not getting your federal tax refund because of the partial government shutdown.
The latest word from White House officials is that a skeleton crew of IRS workers will be sending out refund checks in a timely manner.
Official: Government shutdown won’t stop refund checks from coming
Last week, the Internal Revenue Service released a document outlining its contingency plans should the shutdown stretch further into the new year and deeper into prime tax season.
Among the scary tidbits to emerge from the IRS Appropriations Contingency Plan was this one: The issuance of refunds is a “non-excepted” function.
So what does that mean in plain English?
Simply put, it means that cutting those checks which everyone loves so much is a task that falls to furloughed workers who won’t be on the job.
However, in a surprise turn of events, there’s now a hope that it won’t have to come to all this.
According to CNBC, Russell T. Vought — acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget — now maintains that refund checks will be mailed out without a hitch.
As a reminder, most refunds are sent out less than 21 calendar days after a tax return is received by the IRS. Tax season hasn’t officially started yet, but it’s expected to begin by the end of January.
Clark’s take on tax refund checks
You could practically hear the sigh of relief from millions of Americans across the country when Vought promised refunds with no delays this year.
While that’s all well and good, we’d like to offer a different perspective…
Money expert Clark Howard has long said that if you love getting a fat refund check every year, you probably need a reality check instead.
“People try to justify their tax refunds by saying it’s a way to force themselves to save money,” the consumer champ says.
“But getting a giant tax refund means you’ve made an interest-free loan to the government and your money has been working for them — not you — all year long.”
Clark’s solution? Adjust your withholding at work to be as tax-neutral as possible. The ideal situation in Clark’s book would be to neither owe nor to get a refund come tax time.