Government Shutdown: The Impact on IRS Tax Filings

January 25, 2019 - 2 minutes read

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14, 2018: Internal Revenue Service sign at the IRS Building in Washington, DCOver 46,000 IRS Employees Now Back at Work

The longest government shutdown in history is still in effect as this blog is being written. Naturally, the impact of the shutdown as it applies to the IRS is a concern for all taxpayers.

According to a Treasury Department announcement, under an updated contingency plan covering the upcoming filing season, the IRS has recalled 57% of its workforce to handle tax season duties.

While temporary funding for the IRS for fiscal year 2019 expired at midnight on Dec. 21, 2018, the IRS has been operating under a contingency plan that furloughed 88% of its workforce, and only 9,946 were considered “excepted/exempt” and allowed to continue working. Under the new plan, 46,052 IRS employees will be considered “excepted/exempt” and will return to work.

The updated contingency plan allows the IRS to process paper and electronic returns and issue refunds to taxpayers. The IRS previously announced the tax season will start on Jan. 28 and that it would be issuing refunds during the government shutdown. They will also be opening its call sites and responding to taxpayer questions.

However, all IRS audit and examination functions and non-automated collections will continue to be put on hold during the shutdown.

The fact is that all IRS deadlines are still in place. There is no additional time for filing tax returns, so you will want to plan accordingly and file your tax returns on time or make arrangements for an extension.  In other words, it’s business as usual.

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