With the failure of congress to pass a budget, 800,000 thousand workers face furloughs and a million more are working without pay. The IRS is one of the agencies that will be closed with walk-in IRS centers shuttered and IRS Call centers closed:
The good news first: no audits! The Internal Revenue Service is suspending all audit activities while the federal government is shut down.
And that’s pretty much it for good news.
Here’s the bad news: if you’re on extension, your 2012 federal income tax return is still due on October 15, 2013. And yes, the IRS will cash your check on time.
But the door doesn’t swing both ways. If you are due a refund, it will likely be delayed (the extent of the delay is largely dependent on the length of the shutdown).
Walk-in assistance centers for taxpayers will be closed. Similarly, the IRS will not pick up the phones: all telephone hotlines would be closed.
Hopefully the budget dispute will be resolved quickly, but we are entering unknown territory as this shutdown is very different from past shutdowns, mainly because zero appropriations bills have been passed in the interim. In other words, Republicans & Democrats can not even agree to pass the things they agree on; like paying our military service members. This will almost certainly extend the shutdown and the pain of taxpayers trying to process their tax returns and receive their refunds. Judging from taxpayer comments here, the IRS has not been very much help in expediting refunds or explaining delays before the shutdown. But even paltry service is better than no service at all….isn’t it?