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"IRS offices are closed, tax questions are not being answered and there was a concern that refunds to early-filers this year might not be issued on time if the shutdown drags on, financial experts said", ABC News notes.

"Tax refunds will go out", the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Russell Vought, told reporters at a briefing on Monday, according to NBC News.

Which may mean having to file an amended return later, because Herron says the budget literally directs IRS operations, including everything from tax forms to software.

Tax season begins Jan.29, according to the IRS website. Pence said they're waiting on Democrats to negotiate, although Democrats have said they don't want to fund the president's border wall.

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A senior administration official said that OMB is relying on a 2011 IRS memo that argued tax refunds can be paid out during a shutdown. The move seeks to circumvent a potential political problem for the Trump administration by allowing taxpayers to claim refunds despite the government shutdown, which is already dragging into Day 17. Tax-filing season opens soon, and while those who owe Uncle Sam will likely still have to pay up by April 15, people who were due money back have been worrying about a delay if the closure persists. It is particularly notable considering President Trump suggested over the weekend that the situation could last for a "really long time".

In a press release Monday, the Internal Revenue Service confirmed that tax return processing will begin January 28 and refunds will be given to taxpayers as scheduled.

The Wall Street Journal reported that in past, administrations have said refunds can't be paid while the government is shut down: "The administration's legal argument wasn't clear on Monday", the paper said.

The country's tax collector is among the federal agencies affected by the government shutdown, now in its third week.