The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has confirmed it will begin to process tax returns January 28 and issue refunds “as scheduled,” amid an ongoing government shutdown in the U.S.
“We are committed to ensuring that taxpayers receive their refunds notwithstanding the government shutdown,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, said in a statement this week.
As the budget showdown between President Trump and Congress continues, observers originally feared the IRS would be unable to issue refunds until the U.S. government resume operations.
In 2011 for example, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directed the IRS not to pay refunds during a lapse.
However, “the OMB has reviewed the relevant law at Treasury’s request and concluded that IRS may pay tax refunds during a lapse,” the IRS said in a statement.
The IRS said Congress directed the payment of all tax refunds through a permanent, indefinite appropriation (31 U.S.C. 1324) and “the IRS has consistently been of the view that it has authority to pay refunds despite a lapse in annual appropriations,” the IRS said in a statement.
The IRS will also take measures to pay its workforce to meet the demands of the recent major overhaul of the U.S. tax code.
“The IRS will be recalling a significant portion of its workforce, currently furloughed as part of the government shutdown, to work. Additional details for the IRS filing season will be included in an updated plan to be released publicly in the coming days,” the IRS said “IRS employees have been hard at work over the past year to implement the biggest tax law changes the nation has seen in more than 30 years.”