During a press conference Monday, the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Russell Vought, told reporters “Tax refunds will go out”. The Internal Revenue Service will issue refunds to taxpayers even if the U.S. government shutdown extends into the filing season, a decision that some feel may reduce political pressure on Congress and President Donald Trump to reach a deal to reopen the federal government.

Previous government shutdown contingency plans called for the IRS to accept tax returns during the filing season, but refunds would be delayed until the government was funded once again.

Within the first week of the 2018 filing season, more than 18.3 million people claimed about $12.6 billion in refunds. The IRS said Monday evening the filing season, which typically begins at the end of January or early February, would start on Jan. 28 this year.