IRS' Jacksonville workers furloughed; office closed

By Kumasi Aaron - Reporter/The Morning Show anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With the federal government shut down enters its fourth day and most employees at the Bennett Federal Building downtown furloughed, people who have business there are turned away.

Tori Hunter was frustrated after she was told the Internal Revenue Service office was closed and no one was available that could help her. Now she's trying to figure out how she'll feed her children.

"The IRS is holding $1,800 of my money. It's no major money to some, but it's major for me -- a mother of two little toddlers," said Hunter. "That's $1,800 I was looking to getting within the next couple of days that I now cannot get because the government decides they now want to shut down? I can't fathom that."

Glenda Michinok drove from Fruit Cove hoping to get printed transcripts from the IRS. Her daughter started college this year and needs them to qualify for grants.

"So we get all the way out here. I forgot all about the government shut down," Michinok said. "I paid college out-of-pocket this semester for her and I'm trying to get this done because if I don't get it done before the semester is through, I'm probably not going to get reimbursed."

A steady stream of people came to the federal building Friday, only to be turned away.

Anthony Ballard showed up trying to pay his taxes, but the only person to talk to was a security officer.

"He told me I'd have to wait," Ballard said. "They'll let people know when they are going to open again, to pay my taxes at this building."

With the end of this shutdown that resulted in the shutdown no where in sight, no one is quite sure when that will be.

Many are hopeful it will happen sooner than later.

"I guess were going to have to try again next week," Michinok said. "Hopefully it'll be open... because it's a real drive coming all the way out here."

The IRS replied to Channel 4's request for comment with this statement:

"The underlying tax law remains in effect, and all taxpayers should continue to meet their tax obligations as normal. Individuals and businesses should keep filing their tax returns and making deposits with the IRS, as they are required to do so by law.

"The IRS will accept and process all tax returns with payments, but will be unable to issue refunds during this time. Taxpayers are urged to file electronically, because most of these returns will be processed automatically."

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