On Friday afternoon, in a press conference at the White House Rose Garden, President Trump told reporters that he is prepared to keep the government closed for months or even years if Democrats do not agree to provide funding for a border wall.
That's because tax returns won't be processed until the IRS employees return to work, which won't happen until the shutdown ends.
A shutdown that gets resolved within a few weeks would have little ultimate effect on taxpayers, but lawmakers have made little or no movement toward a deal. It notes that federal employees who work in positions with these functions would be furloughed.
An IRS spokesperson would not speculate on how long the shutdown would have to last in order to result in a delay of refunds, CNBC reports.
And while some of the lights may still be on in the building, the agency is now operating with only 12.5% of its workforce, or fewer than 10,000 federal employees. However, if the government doesn't open by then, he said it's nearly guaranteed that refunds will be delayed.
But as Politico reported, that could change as tax filing season begins - and some workers could get called back and be expected to work without pay (at least until they get back pay once the government reopens).
You do, however, still have to pay your taxes by April 15, as the limited Internal Revenue Service staff remaining will still be processing payments from taxpayers during this time. By Feb. 16, the IRS had paid $101.2 billion to almost 32 million households.
But as Americans start to think about filing their taxes, they may wonder: How will this affect tax returns and refunds? An analysis by UBS estimated an overall increase of $42 billion to $66 billion in tax refunds this year over 2017.
The tax refund is the single largest financial event of the year for many people, especially who count on large refunds to pay down debt, catch up on bills, or make major purchases.