A House vote Wednesday is expected to restore IRS funding during the government shutdown. The House is expected to approve a measure on January 9 that would fully reopen Treasury and the IRS. Currently, the IRS has furloughed close to 90% of its workforce because of the ongoing partial government shutdown.
2019 Tax Filing Season
Although the IRS is affected by the lapse in government appropriations, it is expected to continue tax reform implementation and preparing for this year’s tax filing season. The IRS announced late on January 7 that the 2019 tax filing season will begin on January 28.
Tax Refunds Will be Issued
Additionally, the White House announced on January 7 that the IRS will issue refunds this filing season despite prior IRS protocol of not doing so during a government shutdown. There has been some talk among lawmakers on Capitol Hill about potential issues of legality surrounding the White House’s directive to the IRS on issuing refunds.
House Vote to Fully Reopen IRS
The House will vote on January 9 on a separate appropriations bill that would fully reopen Treasury and the IRS, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters in a January 8 press briefing. “These are Republican bills. These are not our bills. These are bills that the Republican Senate passed 92-6,” Hoyer said.
However, President Donald Trump has said he wants a comprehensive, all-inclusive government appropriations package to include his requested border security funding. Additionally, Senate Republican leadership is urging Democrats to negotiate with Trump on reaching a border security funding agreement.
“We all know what is necessary to move past the funding impasse: a negotiated solution that can pass the House, earn sixty votes in the Senate, and which invests enough in border security to earn the president’s signature,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on January 8 from the Senate floor. “As I’ve stated clearly, the Senate will not waste floor time on show votes, messaging votes, or any other proposals which fail to check those boxes regarding the funding bills.”
By Jessica Jeane, Senior News Editor