WASHINGTON, D.C. (KLTV) - The IRS will pay income tax refunds despite the government shutdown.
According to ABC News, a senior administration official told them the White House will order the IRS to pay the refunds.
ABC News said about 90 percent of the IRS workforce has been sent home without pay due to the partial government shutdown, according to a contingency plan published by the agency in December.
There was a concern that refunds to early-filers this year might not be issued on time if the shutdown drags on, financial experts said.
ABC News said some 12.5 percent of IRS employees have been working through the shutdown because they are classified as serving “in the protection of life and property.” These are personnel who keep computer systems running, protect federal property, conduct criminal investigations and take care of other essential tasks.
“Relevant authority has established that tax revenues constitute government property which the service must safeguard during a lapse in appropriations,” according to the IRS.
ABC News said this means that adding to the activities above, the agency will continue collecting taxes throughout the shutdown.
During the 2013 government shutdown, almost $4 billion in tax refunds were delayed, according to a report from the Office of Management and Budget at the time.