Tax refunds and government shutdowns have a great connection between them. If the IRS shuts down due to a government shutdown, there is nobody to process your tax return, thus, nobody to approve and send your tax refund.
Luckily, to this day, no tax refunds were affected largely due to a government shutdown in the past. While the government shutdown in 2018 – 2019 were continuing, the IRS workers were called back to work.
Not all returned to their work right away though. Only eleven thousand out of seventy thousand workers were returned to work. This inevitably resulted in some delays though. After the government shutdown ended in late-January, all the IRS workers returned back to their desks and started working.
Overall, if the IRS is forced to be shut down during a government shutdown that affects the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the tax refunds are going to be delayed. You can be sure that the federal government is going to take additional measures to prevent this from happening. Just like the last government shutdown, the IRS will open near the start of the tax season and start processing tax returns.
If your tax refund is late due to a government shutdown, there isn’t much you can do. You will need to wait for the IRS to process your tax return and wait for your refund.
As for a possible government shutdown in 2021, it is very unlikely. Since the federal government is trying its best to keep the country running amidst coronavirus, a government shutdown is going to be avoided. This means every politician is going to try their best to keep the government from shutting down.
Other things that may cause your tax refund to be delayed could include missing information on the tax return or the way you file. If you’ve submitted a paper tax return, your tax refund is going to be issued to you in about 8 weeks. This is considerably longer compared to electronically filed tax returns as they take 4 weeks at most.