Early tax filers will see delay in federal return

by: Tina Terry Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Many taxpayers will start receiving W-2 tax forms in the mail starting this week, but early tax filers are in for some disappointing news.

Channel 9 reported earlier that the federal government shutdown could delay your federal tax returns.

"People are consumed with the holidays, and they're just not aware of what's going on," said Rashad Phillips, an accountant with Phillips Tax Group.

He said many of his clients are just learning that the federal shutdown from October will delay their returns.

Taxpayers can usually file electronic returns right after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but this year, people won't be able to file electronically until Jan. 31.

"Essentially, the forms aren't ready and the e-file system won't be ready, so it's essentially a two-week delay because of the two-week shutdown delay," Phillips said.

"If you're going to take it, at least give it back in a timely manner, I think," said Leah Gregory, a taxpayer.

Lauren Quevedo said, "I was looking forward to getting a car this year because my car died, and now I won't be able to get a car until whenever they decide to give me my money."

Phillips expects it will be February before taxpayers start getting returns, but he said they should still be vigilant about getting their forms ready.

"The message would be to file as soon as possible," Phillips said.

The delay will also hurt small-business owners who rely on those early returns as a post-Christmas stimulus, he said.

For more information visit www.irs.gov.

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