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How Does a Government Shutdown Affect IRS Services?

We’re approaching the end of another government shutdown.

Senate leadership today reached a deal to reopen the federal government, having passed the procedural-vote hurdle this afternoon (81-18). The agreement comes just days after Friday’s continuing resolution failed to garner the 60 votes required to avoid a filibuster.

So it appears Capitol Hill is about to finally reopen for business—for three weeks. While we’ve all seen coverage of federal employee furloughs and active-duty troop pay, what happens to IRS services if there’s another government shutdown?

What IRS Services Stop During a Government Shutdown?

During a government shutdown, IRS stops processing paper returns, issuing refunds, performing audits, doing manual collections, providing legal counsel, and even answering the phones. In short, IRS won’t do anything that isn’t automated.

If legislators fail to avoid another government shutdown in three weeks—and if it stays shut down for a significant amount of time—it could significantly impact refunds, especially those claiming EITC and ACTC.

Ryan Norton

Whether designing superheroes, penciling caricatures, or just doodling, I always knew I was going to earn some sort of art degree while in college. That was my goal before I decided to trade Edgar Degas for Edgar Allan Poe during a Freshman English class. The BA in English soon morphed into a double-major in English and Philosophy, eventually becoming an MA in English. It only makes sense that I learned of a writing opportunity for a local marketing firm while teaching a first-year college English course. Before I knew it, I was writing and editing tax-related articles for Taxing Subjects, and this has been my home since 2014.

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