IRS Recalls 46,000 Unpaid Workers to Handle Your Tax Return
A couple of weeks ago, we brought you the details about how the current government shutdown could affect your ability to file, and receive, your tax return (if you've got one coming). Since then, we have been assured that the IRS totally has it covered. An official release from the Internal Revenue Service released on January 7th claims that they will "process tax returns beginning January 28, 2019 and provide refunds to taxpayers as scheduled."
While all of that is true, don't expect much effort from the agent processing your taxes this year - because they aren't getting paid to do it. According to TPM, close to 60% of the IRS's workforce (46,052) has been called back to work to handle the load of America's impending return-a-thon without pay. The union that represents the IRS workers filed a lawsuit against the government last week, claiming:
...the Constitution doesn’t allow the government to obligate funds that haven’t been provided by Congress, and the executive branch can’t continue to force more and more employees to show up in exchange only for an IOU."
Yesterday, a federal judge rejected the union’s challenge and ruled the IRS employees do have to go back to work. Around 75% of Americans receive a tax refund every year, and for many families it is the largest single cash infusion they receive all year.