Although the government shutdown appears to be over, at least temporarily, businesses will need to deal with the aftermath of the lengthy shutdown. One of the many unintended, and perhaps unforeseen, consequences of the shutdown was its impact on federal tax collection efforts. During the shutdown, Internal Revenue Service Revenue Officers who handle collection matters were deemed non-essential and furloughed. Although in-person collection activity ceased, automated collection activity did not. This created the possibility that an individual or business taxpayer could receive computer generated Notice of Intent to Levy during the shutdown. A Notice of Intent to Levy generally provides a taxpayer thirty days to respond, after which period the IRS can levy assets. Given the length of the shutdown, a Notice of Intent to Levy could have been issued and have expired, or be ready to expire, while the shutdown continued. While it may require a human being to send out a levy notice, now that the shutdown has ended there will be officials at the IRS who can issue actual levies. Now that the shutdown is over, it remains to be seen if the IRS can react quickly enough to stop levy activity on all the accounts that received automated Notices during the shutdown. If your business receives a Levy Notice shortly after the shutdown, for your own account or for assets payable to an employee, it might be worth some follow up before submitting requested payment to the Internal Revenue Service. Note though, that without evidence that a Levy Notice has been withdrawn, compliance is required.
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