Will the partial government shutdown affect your tax returns?

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - As the partial government shutdown enters its 27th day, many people are wondering if it might affect their tax returns. The IRS says no.

Despite the shutdown, the IRS confirmed it will start processing tax returns beginning January 28, and provide refunds to taxpayers as scheduled.

According to the IRS' government shutdown contingency plan, 46,052 of the 80,265 employees (57.4 percent of the workforce) that have been furloughed will be called back to work. Taxpayers who usually file early in the year are still encouraged to file early. Tax professionals will be accepting and preparing tax returns, and they will submit the returns when the IRS system opens later this month.

"The IRS said before the shutdown that refunds are not generally issued during a government shutdown, but they have since reversed their position in the last few weeks so that refunds will be paid on time," said Certified Public Accountant, Thomas Huling. "One interesting thing to note about the workers who are being called back is none of them are going to be paid. Everybody is being asked to come work without pay. So how that affects their day-to-day, I don't know, but there will be people there to process refunds."

The IRS strongly encourages people to file their tax returns online to minimize errors, and to speed up the refund process.

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