One of the agencies affected by the partial government shutdown — now in its third week — is the Internal Revenue Service. While many taxpayers may not feel this is a great loss, they'll still have to pay their taxes — and the shutdown has created a good deal of uncertainty for everyone planning to file their tax returns in the coming months.
But fear not, the White House says; tax refund checks will be sent out, even though the IRS, part of the Treasury Department, is for the most part closed.
Office of Management and Budget acting Director Russell Vought told reporters Monday that tax refunds will go out, contrary to previous government shutdown policies.
"We have tried to make this as painless as possible, consistent with the law," he said.
It's not clear, however, how it will happen smoothly, given the 70,000 IRS employees who are furloughed.
It is nearing the time of year when many of us start receiving our W-2 forms and begin to search through the files or shoeboxes for the receipts and other documents in that annual chore known as filing our taxes.
But don't expect many answers from the IRS to questions you might have about the new tax law.
"It was always going to be a stretch for a very stretched IRS" to deal with this filing season, said former Commissioner of Internal Revenue Steven Miller, adding, "This can't help."