The Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday released its Fiscal Year 2019 Lapsed Appropriations Contingency Plan, a document that has been eagerly awaited ever since it started looking like the partial federal government shutdown would extend into tax season. The contingency plan spells out which services will be available during the shutdown, which is important information for tax professionals and taxpayers alike.
The IRS pointed out that taxpayers are still required to file their taxes before the April deadline, reiterating that tax refunds will be issued even if the government remains shutdown. Keeping that in mind, the IRS reminds that e-filing ensures faster return processing and that refunds will still be closely scrutinized in an effort to prevent tax-related identity theft.
Aside from accepting and processing federal tax returns and issuing tax refunds, expect automated services to be available, like “Where’s My Refund, the IRS2go phone app, and online payment agreements.” Other processes that aren’t automated may not be available; here's a short list of what the agency will not be doing during the shutdown:
- Customer service phone calls
- In-person help with cash payments, identity theft cases, and hardships
- Previously scheduled appointments
- Applications for tax-exempt status
- Non-automated collections
- State Department passport certification
For those who want a more in-depth review than what the IRS provided in the announcement, the entire 132-page document can be found on Treasury.gov.