Taxpayers consider potential government shutdown impacts on tax refunds

According to the Internal Revenue Service twenty to 25 percent of tax payers file their returns in the last two weeks of tax season.

In Ohio, the latest numbers show 88 percent of Ohioans are E-filing. The IRS says electronically filed returns will still be processed despite a possible government shutdown although they say they will not be able to process paper-filed tax returns.

The IRS office based in Columbus, OH says they cannot comment on specifics about how a federal shutdown might impact IRS operation in Ohio, but they say there is a plan in place just for situations like this. They say the plan has been in place since 1980.

In the current financially uncertain and politically polarized times, some tax preparers say that is only expected.

"In the case of the IRS I'd say it's pretty important because you have people who are depending on getting their refund back for their living expenses," shared Sarah Cerar, Owner of Tax Center.

"If they didn't have a plan what chaos would we have?!" Betty Brim with Liberty Tax Service said emphatically.

Some taxpayers yet to file their returns are still learning about the possible delays.

"I'm just one of them late filers so I just get caught in the click," Betty Holt shared.

At 71, Holt has filed her fair share of tax returns.

"I hate tax time," Holt said. While many taxpayers are filing online this year, Holt is not one of them.

"I'd rather file on paper," she explained. Holt is not thrilled by the idea of her return heading through the World Wide Web.

"I'd think everybody [would] be looking at it out there somewhere," she admitted.

Filing by paper, however, could hold up any possible snail mail refund even longer.

"The paper ones are going to be harder for them," Brim said. "If they close down the government that's going to be the ones that are going to be delayed."

"I don't think anybody is surprised when they hear anything about the IRS especially that it's going to be delayed," Cerar shared.

"Long as they don't owe me I'm fine," Holt said.

Not everyone is fine with a potential delay at taxpayers' expense, however.

"If there's a shutdown they should at least give people a little extension on it," Kelly Neal said as she sat filing her return.  "Because if [politicians] are not going do their job why should people be penalized for their mistakes?"

Fair or not, the IRS is expecting taxpayers to file on time no matter what.

"They probably realize, I hope, that they still have to file by April 18th," Brim said. "That's not going to change no matter what the government's going to do."

"You can't fight the government," Holt said with a laugh. "I'm not going to try!"

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