For a lot of us, the annual return of our tax money from the federal government is biggest single financial windfall we receive. While technically our tax refunds have always been our money we often feel as if we've "been given" money when we get that government check or direct deposit.

A lot of people have expressed concerns over how the current government shutdown could affect that all-important tax refund. The good news is this. The shutdown should not affect the amount of your return. The shutdown most likely will have an effect on when you receive that money.

The Internal Revenue Service has contingency plans in place to deal with issues such as a government shutdown. The agency can, in fact, recall furloughed workers without pay in order to process the annual influx of tax returns. Under direction from the Trump Administration, despite the shutdown, money will be available to honor those returns.

Another option could come in the form of legislation that Congress could authorize certain government agencies, such as the U.S. Treasury, to reopen over the next several days.

The bottom line is this. The money is there. The returns will be processed. You might receive your return a little later than you have in previous years too. Oh, and regardless of whether you are anticipating a refund or you owe money you will still be required to file your return by April 15th.

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