With the drought intensifying, many families in the southern United States are having to scramble to find alternative sources of income.
With a dry season approaching, families are turning to alternative sources like food stamps, emergency savings accounts and even a couple of tax shelters.
In some cases, they are using those funds to pay off debts, such as student loans.
But there’s a catch.
Some people who use these types of accounts have to sign up for them to get a tax refund, which can be difficult to do.
So many families don’t have the funds to get this refund and instead have to rely on food stamps or other government assistance.
And in some cases those families could end up spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on groceries to feed themselves and their families, leaving many in the worst-off spots of the country.
That’s what happened in the town of Denny Springs, Arizona, where a woman and her husband spent $7,000 in food stamps to feed their three children.
The couple, who asked ABC News not to identify themselves because they don’t want to jeopardize their future, say the government should have provided a refund for their food stamp payments because it’s a form of emergency aid.
But they’re not alone.
There are many people who have resorted to these types, but are having a hard time figuring out how to pay back their tax refund because of the drought.
Many people don’t know where they can find a tax shelter.
For example, the IRS does not offer a tax deduction for housing assistance, while some states do.
In Texas, the federal government provides housing subsidies for low-income households, but it’s up to the states to set up the program.ABC News reached out to the IRS and the IRS of the states where food stamps are available for those that need it.
They both confirmed that they have no record of a refund being issued.
“There’s no record or record of an individual receiving a refund in the past 12 months,” an IRS spokesperson told ABC News.