GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -
The partial government shutdown, now in it's third week, results in the closure of things like national parks and government buildings.
But it also has the potential to affect things like food stamps and tax refunds, if the shutdown continues into February.
The shutdown is now in day 17, and people are beginning to worry about how that will affect things like tax returns and refunds.
Tax filing season starts to pick up in January and February, but with the IRS closed, it's not clear if tax returns will be delayed or even frozen if the government remains in a stalemate.
The Treasury Department said in a statement that it will finalize and release a plan for the tax filing season in the coming days, but until then, citizens will be left in the dark.
What's more is that if the shutdown continues into February, that could potentially affect the Department of Agriculture's "SNAP program", or food stamp program, which only has funding through the end of this month.
And in Mesa county, that could result in reduced or cut benefits for around 17,000 people.
But even if "SNAP" runs out of funding, residents can be sure of local, not federally funded programs that are always willing to help out, like food banks.
At this time, the future of both issues is uncertain, but both the Department of Agriculture and the IRS are aware of these dilemmas, and are working towards a solution.
Regardless of the shutdown, those who owe the IRS are still required to pay, and you can still file your taxes during the closure.
Officials from the Office of Management and Budget say the funding is there for the IRS to process income tax returns, the question is just when.
And in terms of the SNAP program, that can survive off of emergency revenue until the end of February.