They might have closed the national parks and monuments and barred 85 year old veterans from seeing the WWII Memorial, but if you think the Federal Government’s partial shutdown means you can skip paying your IRS taxes, think again.
CNN reports that of the 9% of the IRS employees remain at work, roughly 8,750 out of nearly 95,000 workers, the IRS has more than enough workers to process any tax receipts. What will be affected? Getting answers to your questions.
The IRS website makes this clear stating that while “all taxpayers should continue to meet their tax obligations,” if you have a question for the IRS “there will be challenges.” According to the IRS, customer service agents are unavailable, as well as the Taxpayer Advocate Service, which fields consumer complaints.
What else should you know about the shutdown and the IRS? CNN reported today that anyone who requested an extension of their taxes last spring will have to meet the extended deadline of October 15. All filing deadlines will be effective, regardless of the stalemate in Washington.
All tax filings must be postmarked by October 15, although if you send a paper return it will not be processed until the government shutdown ends. Electronic filings, however, will be processed automatically.
IRS says NO to refunds during shutdown
So can you expect a refund? No, although the IRS expected close to six million tax filings by October 15, they have issued a statement that they will not be able to send refund payments until normal operations continue.
And for those who need help filing their returns there won’t be anyone to talk to. Live agents have been furloughed and all other taxpayer assistance centers are also closed. Questions must now be directed to either the IRS’s automated assistance line is still open at (800) 829-1040, or taxpayers can contact a private tax preparer for more information.
Good news- no IRS tax audits
There is one bright side to the IRS furlough. If you were expecting an audit you can relax. According to the Internal Revenue Service, audits have also been stopped during the shutdown because the IRS does not consider them “essential” services.
The IRS recommends visiting their website if you have further questions about what services will and will not be provided during the Government shutdown.
What’s happening in Washington?
Back in Washington lawmakers have convened for an unusual Saturday session with little hope of resolving the bitter budget standoff between the two parties. The main issue which will be discussed today is whether or not federal workers will receive back pay once the shutdown is over.
The legislation is sponsored by more than 150 Democrats and Republicans in the House, and the White House has also endorsed the bill. At issues is whether or not the more than 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed due to the shutdown will receive money for the time they have been off work.
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