The statistics are heartbreaking, with nearly one million Americans either not working, or being expected to work without pay by the same government whose fiscal promiscuity has led us down this dark and dismal path.
The news today is filled with stories about these fellow countrymen who have been led into a stressful, damaging situation by their employer. Some are selling their cars or valuables; others are going further into debt just in order to keep the lights on. That’s paying interest on your electricity. That’s not the sign of a prosperous nation.
To compound these concerns, one of the agencies hit hardest by the shutdown was the Internal Revenue Service, who is a scant few weeks should begin processing tax refunds for a vast swath of the nation. For many, this money must come, much like the paychecks must come for the 800,000 workers who just missed one. Should tax refunds come late, (or never?), the stabbing hunger pang of the furloughed federal employee will become the dull headache of the paycheck-to-paycheck masses.
That’s why the IRS just made a huge move in order to keep tax filing on schedule.
The Internal Revenue Service is recalling about 46,000 of its employees furloughed by the government shutdown — nearly 60 percent of its workforce — to handle tax returns and pay out refunds. The employees won’t be paid during the shutdown.Trending:
With the official start of the tax filing season coming Jan. 28, the Trump administration has promised that taxpayers owed refunds will be paid on time, despite the disruption in government services caused by the partial shutdown now in its fourth week.
There had been growing concern that the shutdown would delay refunds worth hundreds of billions of dollars because the money wouldn’t be available for them from Congress. But last week, the administration said customary shutdown policies will be reversed to make the money available to pay refunds on time.Advertisement - story continues below
An IRS document detailing its new shutdown plan shows that 46,052 agency employees will be called back to work, of the total workforce of 80,265. It says the plan will take effect as soon as the Treasury Department issues an official notice.
While this is certainly welcome news, one has to wonder if the government remains shutdown until Tax Day in mid-April, will our refunds even matter? Won’t we have bigger fish to fry at that point?
Let’s hope that we don’t have to find out.