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IRS calling 46,000 workers to work for free and handle tax returns

Staff Writer |
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.

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The employees won't be paid.

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 going out because the money wouldn't be available for them from Congress.

Last week, the administration said customary shutdown policies will be reversed to make the money available and refund payments on time possible.

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.

About three-quarters of U.S. taxpayers receive annual refunds, giving them an incentive to file their returns early. Many lower-income people count on refunds as their biggest cash infusion of the year.


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