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The short of it: You can file a tax return, but don’t expect a refund soon.

It’s tax filing season. But the federal government is now shut down after a debate over immigration got in the way of Congress passing a spending deal. So how will this affect your tax returns and refunds?

The short version: You can still mail in your tax returns or submit them online. And if the federal government shutdown only lasts a few days (and ends, specifically, before January 29), there shouldn’t be a noticeable effect on getting your tax refund or any other processing. That’s because the IRS wasn’t planning to accept tax returns until January 29, anyway.

But if the shutdown drags on longer, there could be delays and other serious problems at the IRS. So if you plan to rely on your tax refund for a big January or February purchase, you may want to hold off.

The long version: As part of the federal government shutdown, the IRS will retain less than half of its workforce — or a little more than 35,000 people, according to a contingency plan.

That will let the IRS continue some operations in the short term. Some examples: processing electronic returns, processing returns with payments, mailing tax forms, appeals, civil and criminal cases, criminal investigations, and some technical work to make sure computer systems remain up and running.

So you will be able to mail in your tax returns or submit them online — whatever you prefer.

But depending on how long the shutdown lasts, there could be some problems.

First, tax refunds will stop being issued. Now, this shouldn’t affect most taxpayers unless the shutdown drags on. Although the IRS considers tax filing season to run between January 1 and April 30, it wasn’t planning to accept 2017 tax Read More Here