How is IRS affected by the Government Shutdown? Are IRS due dates changed?

Due to the Government Shutdown, less than 10% of employees are reporting to work.

Tax deadlines are NOT being extended. The personal tax returns are still due by October 15, 2013. However, we have closed who are not going to be happy because tax refunds will not be issued.

What will be put on hold? IRS audits, examination of returns and processing of non-electronic returns that do not require remittance of dollars are on hold!

If you have tried to call IRS you know that no one is picking up the phones.

Essential Operations/Open
• Processing of tax returns that include remittances will continue.
• Processing of e-filed tax returns will continue.
According to the “Shutdown contingency plan” should the shutdown extend beyond five (business days, the Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support will initiate (through the IRS Human Capital Officer) the reassessment of activities and any necessary adjustment of excepted positions/personnel.”

If you visit the IRS website, you will read:

Due to the current lapse in appropriations, IRS operations are limited. However, the underlying tax law remains in effect, and all taxpayers should continue to meet their tax obligations as normal.
Individuals and businesses should keep filing their tax returns and making deposits with the IRS, as they are required to do so by law. The IRS will accept and process all tax returns with payments, but will be unable to issue refunds during this time. Taxpayers are urged to file electronically, because most of these returns will be processed automatically.

No live telephone customer service assistance will be available, however most automated toll-free telephone applications will remain operational. IRS walk-in taxpayer assistance centers will be closed.
While the government is closed, people with appointments related to examinations (audits), collection, Appeals or Taxpayer Advocate cases should assume their meetings are cancelled. IRS personnel will reschedule those meetings at a later date.

Automated IRS notices will continue to be mailed. The IRS will not be working any paper correspondence during this period. Here are some basic steps for taxpayers to follow during this period.

What IRS services will be available?
• For taxpayers seeking assistance, only the automated applications on the regular 800-829-1040 telephone line will remain open.
• The IRS website, www.IRS.gov, will remain available, although some interactive features may not be available.
• Tax software companies will continue to accept and file tax returns.

One question, I have received is
“Will my electronically filed returns be processed?”

The IRS says “Individuals and businesses should keep filing their tax returns and making deposits with the IRS, as they are required to do so by law. Taxpayers are urged to file electronically, because most of these returns will be processed automatically. Payments accompanying electronic tax returns will be accepted as the IRS receives them, although the IRS will be unable to issue refunds during this time. “

Paper returns processing will be delayed because of these employees are not at work.

Of course checks coming into the IRS for payment will be processed. But as you might have guessed, refund checks will be held up until the IRS reopens. Then you have to expect a delay due to the massive amount of mail that is piling up at the IRS service centers.

A concern is that paper returns filed timely will be considered to be late because the IRS is closed. Fortunately, the postal service and express services are open and the postmark on the envelopes will be accepted as the date filed.

You can also get transcripts because this is an automated process. You can expect to get your transcripts in the mail within five to 10 calendar days.

Please call me at 602-292-2009 if you have any questions.

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About Jeffrey Brooks

Jeffrey Brooks, CPA, CFP, MBA since 1976 has specialized in helping clients save significant taxes, help businesses increase their cash flow, revenues and profits while increasing their control and satisfaction. Jeff and his accounting firm sincerely cares about the happiness of his clients.

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JBrooks Wealth Advisors, PC.

Certified Public Accountant
Address: 4647 N 32nd Street, Suite B245
Phoenix, Arizona 85018
Phone: 602-292-2009
Email: jeff@jbrookswa.com