By Ben Peeler, Mike Mondelli
January 17, 2019
What to Expect From The IRS Under Partial Shutdown
First, a disclaimer—the information in this article is subject to change as the IRS continues to assess the current requirements they need in place to protect revenue inflows and service needs. It’s current at the time of publication, but be on the watch for updates on what’s discussed below.
Partial Government Shutdown Impact
As the partial U.S. government shutdown continues, certain IRS services are affected, creating the potential for time delays and, in some cases, no service being provided. Service disruptions could include no response for extensions of time or changes to the scheduling of examinations. However, automated services probably will not be affected.
If you receive an IRS tax notice with a defined response date, that response date should be observed and followed. Do not anticipate the IRS will allow an extension because of their inability to perform services during the shutdown.
The following information, found in the IRS FY2019 Lapsed Appropriations Contingency Plan,will provide some information, but until the partial shutdown is resolved, other things may be added or deleted. The plan will be modified, particularly in relation to sending out refunds, but nothing official has been announced yet.
What the IRS Is Continuing to Do:
What the IRS Won't Do During the Shutdown:
The U.S. House and Senate have both said they will introduce legislation to deal with the partial government shutdown. However, the things the IRS can and will do if the shutdown continues cannot wait on that legislation and still meet the requirements of the 2018 tax return filing season as well as handle ongoing tax cases, so expect some clarification and guidance to start coming very soon.
What Happens Next?
You should respond to IRS notices as usual and request extensions for IRS returns and other purposes in a timely manner, but be aware that the IRS probably will not be responding to non-automatic extension requests. Therefore, if a response is required to perfect the extension request, discuss your case with someone qualified in the tax controversy area. Additionally, we have noticed that many of the IRS fax services have not been functioning, so you may need to send your responses or extension requests by certified mail.