What is affected by the government shutdown and how it may affect you

The IRS has not yet released its shutdown contingency plan, but it has historically been one of the most aggressive federal agencies in cutting operations when federal funding ends.

The IRS chief counsel, the official who interprets tax law for the agency, has consistently held that government employees can remain on the job. Only during a shutdown when their duties protect the government as opposed to individuals. This means that ordinary taxpayers may face greater financial hardship.

For example, when the government shut down for 35 days in late 2018 and early 2019, employees of the agency’s internal consumer rights watchdog, the Taxpayer Advocate Service, could only open mail looking for checks made payable to the government. told. It could not achieve its fundamental objectives, conduct case work or help resolve taxpayer disputes.

Moreover, at the beginning of his Because of the shutdown, about 12 percent of IRS employees who remained on the job could not answer taxpayer phone calls, issue tax refunds, issue liens and levies or provide other taxpayer services, the service reported. Couldn’t complete. As the shutdown approached filing season, which begins around January 1 each year, the tax agency relaxed More employees and thousands of workers returned to work to answer phones and distribute refunds.

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