White House: IRS will process tax returns during government shutdown

IRS Tax return generic

A 1040 tax form appears on display, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in New York. The IRS is delaying tax refunds for millions of low-income families as the agency steps up efforts to combat identity theft and fraud. Starting in 2017, a federal law requires the tax agency to delay refunds until Feb. 15 for people […]

Millions of Americans will receive their tax refunds on time, according to the White House, which directed the Internal Revenue Service to pay tax refunds during the federal shutdown.

Administration officials said it was legally permissible for the IRS to process tax returns during a government shutdown, according to the Washington Post.

The decision was announced Monday by White House Office of Management and Budget acting director Russell Vought.

In the past, IRS policy had prohibited the agency from performing audits, paying refunds or offering assistance to tax payers when a majority of its employees were absent during a shutdown.

Decisions regarding IRS staffing and when tax filing season will begin are still being worked out, officials said.

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