Tax Refunds Will Be Paid During Shutdown, White House Says -- Update

01/07/19 03:40 PM EST
By Richard Rubin and Peter Nicholas 

WASHINGTON -- The IRS will pay tax refunds even though the agency is subject to the federal government shutdown, after the Trump administration reversed a long-standing policy.

The decision, announced Monday by the White House Office of Management and Budget, would remove one of the biggest potential pains for Americans from the shutdown and allow hundreds of billions of dollars to flow once tax filing opens later this month in the event that the shutdown lasts that long.

The administration is trying to make the shutdown as "painless as possible consistent with the law," Russell Vought, the acting OMB director, told reporters.

"We're going to continue to take steps like that to mitigate the impact, " Vice President Mike Pence said of the tax refunds.

Until Monday, the Trump administration and its predecessors had said refunds couldn't be paid while the IRS was shut because that wasn't necessary to protect life or government property.

Write to Richard Rubin at and Peter Nicholas at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 07, 2019 15:40 ET (20:40 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.