Early IRS tax refunds up in the air during government shutdown

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- With early tax filing season approaching, the IRS is one of the agencies that's being affected by the ongoing government shutdown that's now entering its second week.

The nation's tax collector does not pay refunds or offer other assistance to taxpayers if they have questions during a shutdown. On top of that, IRS staff is down to just 10% of normal levels.

"If you try to call the IRS, it's already pretty bare bones there," said Molly Shattuck, CPA and Director at Hammar & Associates in Rock Island. "I think people are wondering when this is going to end and how this affects the IRS's ability to process returns and process refunds."

If the shutdown stretches further, Shattuck says it could affect how quickly early filers get their refunds. However, she said that she still recommends that her clients here in the Quad Cities submit their income tax returns as they originally planned.

"Gather your documents, be ready to file, and just do it in a normal way," she said.

For more on how the government shutdown could affect your tax refund this year: IRS won’t issue tax refunds during government shutdown

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