Filing taxes? Here's how a government shutdown impacts the process

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 9:23 AM

What You Need to Know: Government Shutdown

Millions of Americans are ready to file their 1040s when the tax season opens Jan. 29 , but will the Internal Revenue service be open to process them? And how long will it take to get a refund?

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When Congress failed to agree on a funding bill early Saturday, the U.S. government officially ran out of money for the fiscal year and shut down, triggering furloughs for “non-essential” employees.

That could impact the more than 155 million individual tax returns that the IRS is expected to receive in 2018.

The IRS will keep about 43.5 percent of its employees -- 35,076 -- on the job, CNN reported. According to Forbes magazine, the IRS has a contingency plan to operate during a government shutdown.

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The plan says that “If the IRS is confronted by a lapse in appropriations during the 2018 Tax Filing Season, the IRS will need to continue return processing activities to the extent necessary to protect Government property, which includes tax revenue, and maintain the integrity of the federal tax collection process, along with certain other activities authorized under the Anti-Deficiency Act.”

Fine, fine. But what about those refunds?

Here’s what will -- and won’t -- happen:

  • There will be no refunds issued

  • There will be no audits or examinations, although there may be some exceptions

  • There will be no processing of non-disaster relief transcripts

  • Forms such as 1040X or amended returns will not be processed

  • There will be no non-automated collections

According to Forbes, here are some functions that will continue:

  • E-filing

  • Mailing of tax forms

  • Call centers, which will remain open during filing season (more than 10,000 customers service representatives will handle telephone calls)

  • Processing returns that include payments

  • Appeals

  • Civil and criminal tax cases

  • Active criminal investigations

  • The IRS website, IRS.gov;

  • More than 3,000 IT-related workers will remain on the job

This is a contingency plan, of course. The last time the government shut down in 2013, everything closed, including customer service and call centers, Forbes reported.

And what about the Republican tax cut bill that President Donald Trump signed into law last month? Tax experts said that a lengthy shutdown could complicate the challenge the IRS faces in implementing the new guidelines, The Washington Post reported.

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Trump explodes on Twitter, demands new review of 2016 investigation

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 3:12 PM

Venting his frustration in a series of tweets on Sunday, President Donald Trump again demanded to know how the Justice Department, FBI, and Obama Administration handled questions of Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying he would request a new review specifically to see if an investigation was opened for ‘political purposes’ involving his campaign.

“I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!” the President said.

It was one of a number of tweets where Mr. Trump flashed aggravation with the investigation into questions of Russian interference in the 2016 elections this weekend, as he repeated his charge that the feds had gone easy on Hillary Clinton and Democrats, while focusing investigative resources on his own campaign.

What seemingly set off Mr. Trump on Sunday was a report in the New York Times, which said Donald Trump Jr. had held a meeting at Trump Tower in the months before the elections, to hear an offer of help from emissaries of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“The Witch Hunt finds no Collusion with Russia – so now they’re looking at the rest of the World,” the President tweeted.

The President’s call for a review of how the FBI handled questions about Russian interference is already the subject of a review inside the Justice Department – it wasn’t clear how this request would be dealt with by officials.

“There are rules,” said Carrie Cordero, a former Justice Department national security lawyer, who is now a professor at Georgetown University Law School.

In Congress, Democrats saw the President’s tweets as a signal of one thing – that he’s worried about what investigators are finding out about the 2016 probe, as they raised questions of whether the President is trying to exert political pressure on the Justice Department.

“The President has sent 8 tweets in 5 hours on Hillary and the Mueller investigation,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). “He is unhinged.”

“A President who has nothing to hide would not have done another series of tweets this Sunday Morning smearing the DOJ investigation,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA).

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Barber throws man who complained about haircut through window

Published: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 11:26 PM

Man Thrown Through Window After Complaining About Haircut

A man got more than his hair cut, when an argument with the barber over the style led to the man getting thrown through a glass window, police said. 

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The 33-year old victim was not satisfied with his haircut Thursday and threatened not to pay, according to the New York Daily News. In response, the barber at Levels Barbershop, in Brooklyn, pushed the man, who fell through the shop’s front window.

"He didn't see the push coming. All his body weight went through the window," Free Small, 39, another barber at the shop, told the Daily News. “I would have fixed the dude's hair for him for free. Especially if I knew it was going to be a problem." 

The barber who pushed the man then fled the shop. Other barbers at the shop said they do not know the man’s name or how to reach him, according to the Daily News

The victim, who has not been identified, was taken to a hospital for treatment.

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Trump demands Justice Department probe claims of spying on his 2016 campaign

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 3:31 PM

In a tweet Sunday, President Donald Trump wants the Justice Department to investigate whether the DOJ or FBI spied on his presidential campaign in 2016.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
In a tweet Sunday, President Donald Trump wants the Justice Department to investigate whether the DOJ or FBI spied on his presidential campaign in 2016.(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In a tweet Sunday afternoon, President Donald Trump said he will demand that the Justice Department investigate whether it or the FBI spied on his 2016 presidential campaign for political reasons, CNN reported.

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"I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes -- and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

According to several reports Friday, the FBI sent a confidential source to speak with some advisers to Trump's presidential campaign about its possible ties to Russia.

"If the FBI or DOJ was infiltrating a campaign for the benefit of another campaign, that is a really big deal," Trump tweeted Saturday.

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3 Centerville students receive national writing awards

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 2:47 PM


            Kevin Yin and Ben Thomas from Centerville High School have been selected for a 2018 Achievement Award in Writing, given by the National Council of Teachers of English. CONTRIBUTED
Kevin Yin and Ben Thomas from Centerville High School have been selected for a 2018 Achievement Award in Writing, given by the National Council of Teachers of English. CONTRIBUTED

Three Centerville students have been honored nationally for their academic achievements in writing.

Kevin Yin and Ben Thomas, both juniors at Centerville High School, were selected for a 2018 Achievement Award in Writing, given by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Both students attend Andrew Yuker’s Advanced Placement (AP) Literature class.

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The NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing is a school-based writing program established in 1957 to encourage high school students to write and to recognize some of the best student writers in the nation.

Only students who are juniors may participate. Schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, American schools abroad, and the Virgin Islands are eligible to nominate students for the writing program.

This year, schools nominated 462 students for the award, and 227 received the honor. Each student submitted two pieces of writing, and two independent judges scored each submission on expression of ideas, language use, unique perspective and voice.

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Kayla Hughes, an eighth-grade student in Kim Crasto’s English Language Arts Class at Magsig Middle School, has been recognized as a Promising Young Writer by the NCTE.

The Promising Young Writers Program represents NCTE’s commitment to early and continuing work in the development of writing. The school-based writing program was established in 1985 to stimulate and recognize writing talents and to emphasize the importance of writing skills among eighth-grade students.

This year, schools nominated 129 students for the program. Each student submitted two pieces of writing, and two independent judges evaluated each submission holistically on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development and style.

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