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Here’s how the government shutdown will affect tax returns

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The IRS will begin accepting tax returns in less than a week, despite the longest-running government shutdown in US history.

Last week, about 46,000 IRS employees — just over half of its total workforce — were called back to work without pay, according to an AP report.

The IRS previously announced it would begin accepting tax returns on January 28 for the 2019 tax filing season. It also plans to pay out refunds as normal, despite previous reports that the government shutdown would delay refunds for early filers.

In order to submit your tax return, you first need a W-2 form, or Wage and Tax Statement, from every employer you had during 2018. If you’re a freelancer, you’ll need 1099 forms.

Read more: Tax Day is April 15. Here’s what you can expect when filing under the new tax law

If you haven’t received your form by mid-February, you should first contact your employer and request a copy or ask that it be resent, according to the IRS. If that doesn’t work, you can then contact the IRS at 800-829-1040. You’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Name, address, Social Security number, and phone number
  • Your employer’s name, address, and phone number
  • Dates you worked for your employer
  • An estimate of your paid wages and federal income tax withheld during 2018

If you still don’t have your W-2 by April 15, you can use the W-2 substitute, Form 4852, and estimate your wages and withheld taxes. Note that the IRS could delay your refund while verifying the information. You can also file for a six-month extension using the IRS Free File.

Read more: The IRS will still accept tax returns during the partial government shutdown. Here’s how you can file for free online.

If you receive your W-2 after filing and the information is different than what you claimed, you’ll need to file an amended tax return using Form 1040X.

Once you file your taxes, you should receive your tax refund within 21 days of filing.

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