How gov't shutdown could affect West Michigan

8:08 PM, Apr 7, 2011   |    comments
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  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - If a deal to avert a federal government shutdown is not made, national parks and museums -- including sites in West Michigan -- will close and other non-essential government operations will come to a halt.

In West Michigan, national parks like Sleeping Bear Dunes, will close.  The Gerald R. Ford President Museum in Grand Rapids would also be forced to close due to a government shutdown.

It also means changes at federal offices like the IRS. Your tax returns are still due, but you may not get your money as fast as you would like.

"And the deadline to file is still April 18th," says Duane Culver, a certified public accountant. "If you send in your return by mail, they will not be processing it."

Culver suggests filing electronically. "When you file you're tax return, you should ask for direct deposit if you're expecting a refund," he says.

If you happen to owe money, you're still expected to send-in your payment. "Expect them to open the envelope and cash the checks," says Culver.

At other federal agencies like the Social Security Administration, checks will still go out but there will likely be no new claims. At the U.S. Postal Service, mail will go out but passports will not be processed.  Civil and criminal cases at the federal courthouse will continue.

U.S. armed forces -- including the Coast Guard -- and homeland security operations will continue. It's still unclear as to how or when the personnel will get paid.

The deadline to pass the budget is 12 a.m. Saturday.

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