- The Washington Times - Friday, February 8, 2013

Already, the Internal Revenue Service has fallen behind its normal pace of issuing tax refunds — by tens of billions of dollars.

By this time last year, the IRS had issued $26.9 billion in refunds, according to statistics cited in a report in The Chicago Tribune. In comparison, the IRS this year — through Feb. 3 — has only issued $4.3 billion refunds, according to the report.

That’s a $22.6 billion difference.

The IRS blames the fiscal cliff and the ensuing uncertainties over tax policy. And interestingly, last year – when the pace of IRS refunds was slow-going, too – the agency blamed security issues, according to The Chicago Tribune. In 2005, the IRS had already refunded between $30 billion and $40 billion by this point, the report said.