What a future gov't shutdown could mean for your tax returns

HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - A procedural vote in the United States Senate Monday afternoon has paved the way for other votes that are expected to end the federal government shutdown. That will mean offices that were closed on Monday should reopen on Tuesday and others that had limited their functions, could go back to full service.

In Hickory, the IRS office was closed and across town, the Social Security office was open, but with limited services.

Kane Keller needs a new social security card but was told to come back another day due to government shut down.

"They said they could not process it until they passed the budget in Washington," Keller said.

Bobby Penland said he thinks politicians from both parties are to blame and hopes they can come together and keep a shutdown from happening again.

"I don't believe that the government should ever shut down," Penland said.

If the U.S. Senate, House and President Trump can't agree on government spending by Feb. 8 however, the government will shut down once more.

If that happens, it will be during tax season.

Terrence Hawkins runs Hawkins Accounting and Tax Service. He says his office has been faced with a lot more questions in the last few days about the upcoming tax season, partly because of the recent government shutdown.

"With confusion of are they going to get their refunds or do they have to pay in what's going on," Hawkins said in response to the concerns he had received.

The government is back open at least for now and you can begin filing taxes starting Jan. 29, but if there is a chance that the government shuts down again and in the middle of tax season, Hawking says there is no need to worry.

"Only a portion of the IRS service will be shut down even during a shut down," he said.

That means you can file your taxes or pay the IRS as you normally would but if you're getting a refund, that will have to wait.
"However if you're getting a refund they are not going to open up paying a refund until the government opens back up," Hawkins added.
Hawkins also says the best thing to do when filing your taxes is to take your time and be thorough when submitting all information to the IRS at one time.

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