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IRS Playing Politics with Government Shutdown

With the IRS now claiming that tax refunds will be delayed because of the recent government shut-down, it’s worth highlighting that the same was true last year.

A 2014 delay would mark the second time in as many years that the IRS pushed back the filing season. The 2013 season was pushed back just over a week because of the changes made in the fiscal-cliff deal that President Obama signed early this year.

Here’s how the announcement played out last year. It wasn’t treated like much of a big deal.

Jan 26th, 2012: However, because the IRS is experiencing unanticipated delays in federal tax processing this year, it could take one to two weeks after returns are accepted for refunds to be delivered. The IRS is working to remedy this situation, which is affecting taxpayers no matter what filing method they used – the delays are not limited to H&R Block clients.

So, why all the fuss and the negative headlines today?

Taxpayers seeking their refund will have to wait a little longer next year because of this month’s government shutdown, the IRS said Tuesday.

Factually, there’s no reason to think this coming year will be any worse than last year. The only difference is, now the IRS can play a political role by yet again allowing Democrats to blame Republicans for Obama’s refusal to compromise, thereby forcing a shut-down.

From auditing Tea Party groups, to this, it remains perfectly clear, the Obama administration is not adverse to playing politics with every arm of government, many of which were traditionally left out of partisan political gamesmanship.

Rep. Sandy Levin (Mich.), the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, dubbed the delay “yet another unfortunate effect of a shutdown that Republicans should have never caused.”

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