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Trump’s shutdown could delay your early tax refund — but it’s not a problem for the rich

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The Internal Revenue Service is in “uncharted territory” as the specter of a prolonged government shutdown threatens refunds as the country approaches tax season.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the IRS is operating with only one-eighth of its normal employees because tax season hasn’t yet begun — and that pay refunds are one of their services that’s on the chopping block.

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“A shutdown that gets resolved within a few weeks would have little ultimate effect on taxpayers, but lawmakers have made little or no movement toward a deal,” the Journal noted. “That stalemate raises the prospect of an unprecedented extended closure during the individual income-tax filing season, which typically starts in mid-to-late January.”

“The IRS hasn’t announced a start date yet for the 2019 filing season,” the report added.

While the lack of refunds could affect early filers, it’s less likely to do so for those in higher tax brackets.

“Wealthier filers generally have more sophisticated returns and file later so they should not be affected as much” Floyd Williams, a former senior IRS official, told the Journal.

Lower-income filers, meanwhile, “tend to file early in the season are taxpayers who count on large refunds to pay down debt, catch up on bills or make major purchases,” the report noted.

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“We’re in uncharted territory as each day gets longer,” Mark Steber, chief tax officer at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc., told the newspaper.

 


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Eric Trump bragged about the stock market as the US crossed 100,000 dead — and it didn’t go well

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On Wednesday, the number of reported coronavirus deaths in the United States officially hit the 100,000 mark — a milestone experts have been anticipating for days.

But at the same time, President Donald Trump's second son chose to take the moment to brag about how the stock market was doing.

GREAT DAY for the DOW!! https://t.co/t0cK3wOKUu

— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) May 27, 2020

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Navajo Nation got masks from a former Trump official — that ‘are not approved by the FDA’: report

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The Indian Health Service acknowledged on Wednesday that 1 million respirator masks it purchased from a former Trump White House official do not meet Food and Drug Administration standards for “use in healthcare settings by health care providers.”

The IHS statement calls into question why the agency purchased expensive medical gear that it now cannot use as intended. The masks were purchased as part of a frantic agency push to supply Navajo hospitals with desperately needed protective equipment in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

ProPublica revealed last week that Zach Fuentes, President Donald Trump’s former deputy chief of staff, formed a company in early April and 11 days later won a $3 million contract with IHS to provide specialized respirator masks to the agency for use in Navajo hospitals. The contract was granted with limited competitive bidding.

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Police clash with George Floyd protesters in Minneapolis for second straight day

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On Wednesday, protests against the police killing of George Floyd continued — and once again, police and demonstrators clashed, with authorities using chemical agents to attempt to deter the crowds.

Protestors move further back into street after police shoot some kind of deterrent pic.twitter.com/yrvqziOMbD

— christine nguyen (@xinewin) May 27, 2020

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