How the government shutdown could affect your tax return

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - As the government shutdown continues some people are wondering how much longer it will last and if it will affect their tax return.

The government shutdown is on day 16 and closing the gap to the longest government shutdown in 1995 and 1996 which lasted 21 days. If the shutdown lasts even longer than that there could be a delay in tax returns, but people in Rapid City aren't worried about the shutdown affecting tax season.

While the government shutdown affects multiple sectors there are still some government workers making sure things get done like the Internal Revenue Service.

"They're actually still right now working on the tax returns getting them prepped getting them ready and to the point of being able to release funds they're just not able to release funds until the government shutdown is over," says Shelby Dahl, general manager at Liberty Tax Service.

That's what will happen if the shutdown continues past the opening date for tax returns. If it's only a few days then it will only be a slight delay for some of the first people who file their taxes, but there are still people who wouldn't get a tax return until February because of the Path Act.

"Those who do have refundable credits like EITC, child tax credit, or any education credits, those are still not being released until February 15th," says Dahl.

Since tax season ends April 17th people still need to file their taxes and workers doubt that the government shutdown will last that long.

"At this point everything is still on par as a normal tax season so you know in our eyes here at Liberty we aren't freaking out yet," she says.

Even if the shutdown does continue and affect tax returns people have options if they are dependent on those returns.

"There's also a lot of opportunities with different corporations or different tax places in the area that do offer what's called the advance on returns. Based on W2s and what the refund is going to look like so that can help a lot of consumers out there too in the area if they're needing that or are afraid that their funds might not be coming in right away or anticipated," says Dahl.

Some Rapid City residents also commented that they are not worried about the government shutdown affecting their tax returns and that they are hopeful it will reopen soon.