Q. How has the shutdown impacted things?
A. The IRS has a large backlog of paper that it needs to process, so this is not the year to file on paper if you can possibly avoid it. The IRS’ service level is lower this year, too, so contacting it for questions will require patience, Pickering said. If you have tax questions or need help filing your return, this would be a good year to get help.
The IRS encourages all taxpayers to file as soon as possible. Combined with e-filing, direct deposit is the fastest way to get your tax refund. The IRS anticipates issuing more than nine out of 10 federal tax refunds within 21 days from acceptance.