The Government Shutdown and the IRS!
So, now that Christmas is over and Santa Claus has made all of his visits you may be wondering if the government shutdown will affect the IRS.
Well, as you know the government is officially on shutdown–or actually on a partial shutdown. There are a number of functions which are relatively unaffected, such as the court system, for one reason or another, but most departments have contingency plans. Most IRS employees are considered nonessential and are going on furlough. That may be good news for someone anticipating an audit, but not if you have a question for the IRS.
How serious the shutdown is for the IRS will depend on the length of time it continues. Much more than a week and plans will change. Here are some of the functions still staffed under the short-term contingency plan:
- Completion and testing of the upcoming Filing Year programs
- Electronic returns processed systemically up to the point of refunds
- Processing paper tax returns through batching
- Processing remittances
- Processing disaster relief transcripts
- Continuing IRS’s computer and accounting operations to prevent data loss
- Protection of statute expiration, bankruptcy, liens and seizure cases
- Upcoming tax year forms design and printing
- Maintain criminal law enforcement and undercover operations
Some examples of functions that are non-excepted activities and will be on hold:
- Service center processing after the point of batching (e.g., data transcription, error resolution)
- Issuing refunds
- Processing non-disaster relief transcripts, income verification express service/return and income verification services
- Processing amended tax returns
- Most Headquarters and administrative functions not related to the safety of life and protection of property
- All audit functions, examination of returns, and processing of non-electronic tax returns that do not include remittances
- Non-automated collections
- Legal counsel
- Taxpayer services such as responding to taxpayer questions (call sites) (during Non-Filing Season)
- Information systems functions (except as necessary to prevent loss of data in process and revenue collections)
- Planning, research, and training and development activities
So as you can see, certain basic functions will continue. But if you’re looking for answers to questions, you’ll probably have to look elsewhere. If the furlough approaches the start of the filing season, which is just past the middle of January, it’s likely the IRS will have a problem adhering to the above schedule. Rest assured, it’s highly unlikely the filing deadlines will be extended.
Solid Tax Solutions (SolidTaxSolutions.com)
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Bruce – Your Host at The Tax Nook
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