As a result of the government shutdown, the IRS will only maintain core functions such as return processing. Filing deadlines remain untouched and payments are still due in a timely manner. The AICPA Tax Section created a Questions and Answers page to help practitioners with related challenges in filing returns and representing clients (e.g., collections, notices, ongoing examinations, etc.). This page will be updated as more information becomes available from the IRS.
According to the IRS’s contingency plan released Sept. 27, the following activities will cease during the shutdown:
• Operation of taxpayer services and centers
• Operation of the Practitioner Priority Service
• Processing of paper returns that do not require remittance
The closure of taxpayer and practitioner hotlines is particularly challenging for those individuals who must file a Form 1040 by Oct. 15 and need to contact the IRS. The plan does authorize several functions to continue, including processing of electronic returns, building security, certain computer operations, criminal law enforcement, and the protection of bankruptcy, lien and seizure cases.
We will continue to monitor how the shutdown affects taxpayers and practitioners and work with the IRS, whenever possible, to help mitigate the impact. As this shutdown is the first in 17 years, it will be uncharted territory for many agency personnel who are working to sort out the details.
Related news from the Journal of Accountancy and other links:
How the government shutdown affects taxpayers and tax practitioners (10/01/13)
Midnight's government shutdown affects taxpayers and tax practitioners in a number of ways. Many non-essential Internal Revenue Service functions will shut down, including all taxpayer services, as well as audits and examinations. However, no filing deadlines are postponed and return processing will continue. The federal courts will also stay open, at least for now.
IRS releases government shutdown contingency plan (09/27/13)
The Internal Revenue Service released a contingency plan for how it will handle a government shutdown. While many IRS functions would stop, processing of most tax returns would continue (except for paper returns that don't include payment).
Office of Personnel Management, Pay and Leave Furlough Guidance