RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- If you're an early filer, having to wait until last week to do your taxes may have seemed like an eternity.
"Tax season started about 10 days later than we thought we would have it start," IRS spokesman Raphael Tulino said. "That's generally due to the government shutdown we had in October."
Tulino said their delay in processing returns shouldn't impact how long it takes you to get your refund once you file.
"Refunds in general will get to most taxpayers, the vast majority, I would say about 90 percent in 10 to 21 days," Tulino said. "That's with an e-file return choosing direct deposit, which is the way most people do it now."
Tulino said last year about 5 out of every 6 tax returns were filed online.
If you're looking for a way to e-file you can find 14 recommended programs on the IRS website
"There's a link from our site into the software program you choose, so you can guarantee yourself a federal tax income return filed for free, provided your income is 58 thousand dollars or less," Tulino said.
There's even a short questionnaire you can fill out and the site will narrow down the options for you.
Tulino said the process is secure.
"We've been doing this for about 20 some years and we have processed and transmitted, had transmitted to us, more than a billion tax returns and we've done so without a security breach that I'm aware of," he said.
Once they have the data, Tulino said they take their time to inspect it.
"We balance getting refunds to taxpayers as quickly as possible and at the same time make sure that these are legitimate refunds going to taxpayers."
Tulino also warned that there are two major tax-related scams this season. One is a phishing scam in which people get an email claiming to be from the IRS about their tax return that asks for personal information, and the other is a phone scam in which the caller demands immediate payment through a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. Tulino said that is not how the IRS does business and if you've received an email or phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, you should report it.