IRS Problems: What the Government Shutdown Means to You

Current tax news has a lot to do with the recent government shut down. Because of suspension of many government operations considered non-essential, the IRS has furloughed 90% of its employees. Currently only just over 8,000 out of the 91,000 IRS employees are working a normal schedule. This could spell trouble for those in need of tax support from the IRS or those who are filing taxes on or before the October 15 tax deadline.

Government shutdown means the government is working with a "skeleton" crew; therefore, it may be difficult to get in touch with your IRS case worker in order to receive valid answers to recent inquiries. You are still required by law to file paperwork and make payments toward debt, but responses related to inquiries will be halted during the shutdown. Unfortunately, interest and penalty fees are still accruing under during the government shutdown. 

Many automated systems such as the IRS.gov site will be operational. Walk-ins to facilities and live phone or email support will be suspended during the government shutdown. It is times like these when you must have all your ducks in a row, as they say. If you have tax related questions or feel the shutdown is impeding a necessary process, it is best to speak with a tax professional about IRS problems. Even though the government is shutdown, your tax professional is still hard at work and can ensure you remain within IRS guidelines and regulations during the furlough.

If you are currently being audited or have received notice of an audit, the process is currently suspended until the shutdown ends. This can free up some time for you to get your affairs in order before the IRS resumes normal operation. If you haven't spoken to a tax professional about your audit, now would be a great time to get a head start on organizing paperwork and a plan of attack.

If you are one of the 12 million Americans who has requested the six month extension for filing your taxes, you are still required by law to do so. If you owe any taxes on the deadline of October 15, 2013, you are required to pay on time. If you are due a refund, you may have to wait a bit longer than normal to receive it. Even though the IRS is collecting taxes and debt payments, they are not issuing refunds during the shutdown. 

During the shutdown the ACA or Affordable Care Act will still go into effect, changing the game for many tax payers. Since the IRS has become the chosen agency for watch-dogging the ACA, the requirements for staying within regulation for ACA will still be enforced. 

For more information, please contact us. The finance professionals at The Rice Group, PC. can help you sort through your complicated IRS paperwork and get your personal and business finances back on track.


Tracy Rice | 10/03/2013