As federal workers returned to work Monday, the IRS began accepting 2018 income tax returns.

Federal workers returned to work after President Donald Trump signed a bill Friday which temporarily reopened the federal government for three weeks. IRS spokesman Michael Devine said that the shutdown did not throw off the bureau’s schedule for processing tax returns from last year.

The bureau long planned to begin accepting 2018 tax returns on Monday, Devine said.

“For many people it probably won’t have a large impact because they’re still getting all the documents they need,” Devine said.

During the upcoming tax season, the IRS expects to process 150 million tax returns, the IRS said in a news release Monday. Through mid-day the bureau said it already collected several million federal tax returns.

Last week Trump and federal lawmakers agreed to reopen the federal government for three weeks. The legislation didn’t give Trump the border wall funding he sought but could lead to a negotiated deal on border security.

With the clock ticking to avoid another shutdown, Devine said that the bureau’s ability to process tax returns will not be impacted by another shutdown. About 90 percent of federal tax returns are filed electronically, Devine said. Correctly filed electronic tax returns take little to no human involvement to process, Devine said.

“If the return is accurate and there are no problems with it, it’s very simple, very quick,” Devine said. “The computers are going to run.”

The IRS expects to issue the first tax refunds in early February and begin processing more tax refunds by mid-to-late February, the bureau said in a news release.

Electronic filers that choose to have tax refunds deposited directly into their bank accounts will see tax refunds deposited within 21 days of the date of filing, Devine said. Taxpayers who choose to receive paper checks from the IRS will get their refunds in about 10 to 12 weeks, Devine said.

All tax software is secure and designed to minimize mistakes paper filers often make, Devine said. The IRS encourages taxpayers to pay their taxes electronically to avoid fraud.

“Criminals are very creative,” Devine said. “I have seen stories where they will put nets inside mailboxes. When you file electronically, there’s not chance of that happening.”

As filers and the IRS grapple with the fallout from the partial shutdown, taxpayers will also file taxes for the first time under the tax code amended by the tax bill passed late in 2017.

The tax overhaul made numerous changes to the tax code. Among the biggest for individuals will be changes to the standard deduction.

About 69 percent of taxpayers already took the standard deduction before Congress passed the tax overhaul in late 2017, according to the conservative think tank the Tax Foundation. In 2018 the standard deduction doubled from about $6,000 for individuals to $12,000. Married couples who file jointly saw the standard deduction increase from about $12,000 to $24,000, according to IRS guidelines.

The tax overhaul also restructured the seven income tax brackets and decreased the rates by about 3 to 4 percent. In July the Government Accountability Office found about 20 percent of taxpayers, or about 30 million people, will owe money to the IRS.

Devine said the IRS has numerous resources available on its website at for filers with more questions.

“If you don’t feel good, do a little research,” Devine said. “ gives the taxpayer a lot more information before they file.”