How the Government Shutdown Could Affect Your Tax Refund Manustrong Manustrong / Manustrong

The U.S. is coming up on week three of its government shutdown, officially making it the second-longest shutdown of the past two decades. Though many are hopeful that the standoff will end quickly so that federal employees can go back to collecting a regular paycheck, some taxpayers are already wondering how the closure is impacting the Internal Revenue Service.

Even if the shutdown continues further into the year, you're still required to file your taxes by April 15. But if you're one of those people who likes to file early so that you can also get your refund early, you may have to wait a bit: Even if you've already submitted your 2018 tax documents, you won't receive a refund until after the shutdown ends, NBC4 reports.

While some government-run services, like many national parks and museums, aren't functioning at all, the Internal Revenue Service is still partially operational. The IRS is currently working with a staff of 9946, down from its usual 80,000—a loss of 87.5 percent.

The IRS employees who are working are able to accept and process any tax returns being submitted at this time. But they won't be processing refunds as long as the government is in shutdown mode, and they aren't available to answer any questions you might have about the tax-filing process.

Taxes aren't due until mid-April, and you can still file for an extension if you need more time. By most accounts, the shutdown will likely be over long before the deadline passes. But if you're someone who likes to get your taxes out of the way early, here are some tips you won't be able to get from the IRS.

[h/t NBC4]