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How Does the Government Shutdown Affect Tax Practitioners?

Susan Patterson - October 1, 2013 11:41 am

With the first government shutdown in 17 years, there are many questions as to how this will affect tax practitoners and taxpayers.  The shutdown is not supposed to affect the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  However, it does affect the Internal Revenue Service.  Following is the official statement from the IRS: 


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.


How does this affect me?

What IRS services will be available?

In addition, the following article addresses many other government services that are affected by the shutdown.


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