IRS-building

Taxpayers anxiously awaiting a tax refund from Uncle Sam may be waiting a bit longer this year.

The sweeping automatic budget cuts set to take effect March 1 translates to an 8.2% funding cut to the IRS, according to reports, which could force the agency to furlough workers during tax season.

Unlike a typical budget cut, which would allow the IRS to prioritize their work, sequestration will force cuts across the board during the department’s busiest time of the year, according to Floyd Williams, senior tax counsel at Public Strategies Washington. The IRS can typically shift around its workers to focus on bigger tasks, he adds . For example, identity theft has become a major problem, so the IRS had more people focusing on identifying fraudulent returns—a luxury it won’t have once sequestration kicks in.