United States: IRS Functions Remain Mostly Halted Amid Government Shutdown

The IRS and much of the federal government shut down on Oct. 1 as Congress failed to agree on how to extend government funding. All IRS exam and appeals functions have remained closed since then, as have nonautomated collections, taxpayer assistance services and most IRS chief counsel functions. The IRS said taxpayers with appointments related to exams, collection, appeals or taxpayer advocate cases should assume that their meetings are canceled during the shutdown.

The IRS has been operating with limited personnel to mail automated notices, process electronically filed returns (and returns with remittances) and to protect time-sensitive filings in the government's interest. Refunds will be issued when normal government operations resume. The IRS has not announced any plans to offer relief for late-filed returns or missed deadlines, so taxpayers should continue to follow all statutory deadlines and case-specific statutes of limitation, including timelines for making appeals.

The IRS originally stated in its fiscal year 2014 shutdown contingency plan that if the government shutdown lasted more than five days, the IRS would reassess its activities and adjust which employees would be considered "excepted" (i.e., would have to report to work). The IRS has not made any such public announcement, but it is likely that adjustments to personnel have been made.

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