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What does the government shutdown mean for the IRS?


The IRS is among the government agencies affected by the partial government shutdown. However, they do have a contingency plan in place, which lists what the agency will (and will not) do during the shutdown.

The plan states that it is in effect through December 31, but also states that, "If the IRS is confronted by a lapse in appropriations at any time outside of the filing season (January 1–April 30, 2019) in fiscal year 2019, activities in preparation for the Tax Filing Season will continue, along with certain other activities authorized under the Anti-Deficiency Act." This quote from the IRS seems to indicate that we will see additional guidance for activity during the filing season, but the guidance does state that that the following activities are authorized/not authorized under the Anti-Deficiency Act.

During the shutdown, the IRS will continue to:

  • Process original electronic and paper filed returns; and
  • Accept payments.

The IRS will not:

  • Issue refunds;
  • Process 1040X amended returns; or
  • Conduct audit or exam functions (other than those where they are protecting the statute of limitations).

To view the full contingency plan, go to:

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/266/IRS-Lapse-in-Appropriations-Contingency-Plan_Nonfiling-Season_2018-12-03.pdf