So, if you flew during the last couple of weeks while the FAA was shutdown and had no taxing authority, you will not be getting a refund of the taxes the airlines collected, according to the IRS.
The FAA shutdown was a pretty big deal that was completely overshadowed by the debt crisis. While air traffic controllers remained on the job as essential personnel, airplane inspectors were working as volunteers. What the FAA does as an agency is pretty impressive, given the patchwork of private and public interests that make up the United States’ air system. If it were up to me, in the interests of airplane safety, I’d completely redesign the system, but it’s not up to me. It’s amazing that we have as few air disasters as we do.
I just hope that the taxes collected by the airlines during the FAA shutdown go to the government and not the airlines.