Politics

Could your tax refund be delayed?

Mark Meredith, Nexstar - WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says its ready to process millions of American's tax returns.

But with the possibility of another government showdown only a few days away, could your tax refund be in limbo?

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin said despite rumors of delays, tax refund checks will go out starting this month.

"Our expectation is that we will begin paying refunds in February," Mnunchin said.

The IRS estimates that 70 percent of filers will get a refund this year and that most taxpayers can expect a check within three weeks from filing.

After you file your taxes, there's a quick and free way to see the status of your refund.

On the IRS's website, you can log in to see the date your refund is scheduled to be sent to your bank.

Officials admit that there are two potential problems that could delay refunds.

First, America faces another potential government shutdown on February 8.

The Congressional Budget Office said, however, that even if the government stays open, the Treasury Department is already running out of money.

Recent tax cuts mean that the government is collecting 10 to 15 billion less a month.

Secretary Mnunchin said the fix rests with Congress.

"We've always raised the debt ceiling. It's always been done," he said. "I think there's a understanding we don't want to hurt the credit of the United States."

If Congress refuses, the government won't be able to pay its bill, including tax refunds.

Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen said lawmakers and the public need to realize what's at stake.

"If we don't do this, it's like saying that we're not going to pay the mortgage on our home, even though we've already purchased the home," he said.

Secretary Mnunchin said he's confident that Congress will agree to raise the debt ceiling, but he's urging lawmakers to do it sooner, rather than later.


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