By James Sweet III | United States
The Internal Revenue Service, despite previous reports stating that the agency would take money but not give any back, will issue tax refunds during the current government shutdown. Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Russel Vought, brought relief to the citizens of the nation when he announced to reporters that “tax refunds will go out.”
The previous plan was for the IRS to take in tax returns. However, refunds would not be given out until the government was fully functioning again. Lawmakers were feeling the pressure of filing season, with many receiving calls about when the government would be functioning again. Constituents were worried that their families would not receive refunds when they needed them, giving members of Congress a reason to find a speedy and efficient solution to the problem of government funding.
In the first week of the filing season of the previous year, around eighteen million Americans claimed $12.6 billion in refunds. The filing season of this year begins on January 28th. If President Trump’s rhetoric is true, then the shutdown may still be ongoing by then.
To Republicans, this is a positive event, as they can now continue to pressure Democrats in both the House and the Senate to find money for President Trump’s border wall. Some also believe that this will allow American citizens to see the effects of the current tax laws, something that the GOP has said they had a hard time doing. To Democrats, this is something that distracts the people from the fact that Republicans are holding the government hostage. According to Senator Doug Jones of Alabama, “It’s a band-aid to try to make people feel better about the fact that the government is not functioning.”
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