Update: The IRS announced January 7, 2019 that it has received authority to issue refunds regardless of the shutdown. The IRS has furloughed all but 12% of its employees across the country. Essential employees such as IRS law enforcement agents and IT staff to maintain the computer systems are still reporting to work. Should the shutdown continue into the tax filing season, more employees will be considered ‘essential’ and will be called back to work without pay.
During a shutdown, the IRS will:
- Continue to process electronically filed returns up to the point of refunds
- Process paper tax returns with payments
- Process disaster relief transcripts
- Complete and test new computer systems and forms for the upcoming tax year
The IRS will not:
- Issue any refunds
- Process paper returns without payments
- Process amended returns
- Process non-disaster relief transcripts or Income Verification Service requests
- Perform audits or process returns requiring further examination
- Provide taxpayer services such as phone support and online functions
The IRS maintains that the filing season will open on time. Wait times for processing and services may be longer as they clear any backlog. The April deadline for filing will remain unchanged regardless of a lengthy shutdown.
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