STAMFORD - Tax preparers and taxpayers in southwestern Connecticut are breathing a sigh of relief today after a government shutdown was averted Friday night.

Congressional and White House negotiators struck an agreement to keep the government running through the end of September.

A shutdown could've affected many federal agencies, including the IRS, with less than two weeks to go before the April 18 tax deadline.

Tony Coppola, the owner of Coppola Tax Service, says a shutdown would've meant extra hours in the office and a bigger workload for him.

Experts say a shutdown also would've meant delayed refund checks for taxpayers.

Tax preparers say one lesson to learn from this ordeal is to plan early and file tax returns well in advance.