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Government shutdown could impact tax refunds

Posted at 6:08 AM, Jan 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-25 09:13:59-05

TULSA — You can start filing tax returns as early as Monday, but the government shutdown may impact how long it takes to get your refund.

While there haven't been any official changes announced to this year's tax season, experts warn that during a government shutdown you should be ready for anything.

"Even if you do things yourself, typically, this might be the year to seek some actual professional help," tax attorney Travis Watkins said.

Watkins helps people across the state solve their tax problems.

Watkins says this years environment is unique with President Trump's new tax reforms and the shutdown.

"January 28 is still the date that they're saying they'll start accepting tax returns," Watkins said. "But we've heard just recently a bunch of IRS employees telling the IRS and actually telling their union which is the Federal Treasury Workers Union that they are not going to be returning back to work without pay."

Which means deadlines and refunds could be up in the air.

"Nothing has changed about any of that as far as we know at this point, but historically during government shutdowns and even when there's not a government shutdown, the IRS may push things back," Watkins said.

Watkins advises that you seek professional help and know that nothing is set in stone, including when you'll get your refund.

"Do file electronically if you can, as opposed to mailing yours in because there ain't people there to examine and process these returns," Watkins said. "Budget accordingly and don't make any big purchases until the money is there."

The deadline to file individual returns is still April 15.

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