If you have not heard yet, unless Republicans and Democrats of Congress come to some compromise, the United States Federal government will shutdown.  What does that mean?  Well the government will only provide essential services.  All other services will be halted until both sides can agree on a budget for the United States Federal Government.  Furthermore, federal employees will not be paid until the a budget is agreed to or until another extension is approved. The federal government has been in this situation since the fiscal year 2010 ended on September 30, 2010.  Each time Congress has voted for a temporary extension.  Unlike all other times, when the extension deadline approaches, federal government employees that have been deemed non-essential have been told that they may be out of work temporarily.  Among those notified has been most IRS employees.  Before you get too excited about this bit of information, you still have to file your taxes or ask for an extension on or before April 18, 2011.  For those of you that expect a refund, the impending federal government shutdown can affect you if you choose the wrong filing option.

As you know, technology has made conducting business very efficient.  Companies and government agencies have been able to do significantly more work with significantly fewer people.  This has translated to faster and, more often than not, cheaper services.  With IRS employees possibly being out of work until a budget is agreed upon, you should e-file your taxes this April especially if you are expecting a refund. If a government shutdown occurs and you file by mail, your refund WILL be delayed.  If you already filed by paper but you have not received your refund yet, you too may be affected by a government shutdown.  Also if you are expecting that refund, opt for direct deposit.  This too will guarantee you get your refund on time.

In general, you should not let the government hold on to your money for free.  The impending federal government shutdown is yet another reason you should not let the federal government hold on to your money.  The last time a government shutdown occurred was on December 18, 1995.  At that time, the federal government was closed for 21 days between December 15, 1995 and January 6, 1996.  Do not let the Federal government hold your money interest FREE while politicians play games in Washington.