Senate reaches a deal to end the government shutdown
A continuing resolution will fund the government through February 8
TAX ALERT |
U.S. Senate voted to end debate and hold a vote on a continuing resolution (CR) on January 22 to end the nearly three-day long government shutdown. It is believed the Senate will pass the CR, which will fund federal activities through February 8. The House has not yet voted on the measure, but is expected to pass it later in the afternoon. If the CR fails to pass either chamber, or President Trump vetoes the measure, the government will remain shut down.
If the current shutdown continues or if the government shuts down again after February 8, the IRS will suspend certain taxpayer and tax practitioner services. Full details of the IRS’s contingency plans in the event of a government shutdown can be found in the Fiscal Year 2018 Lapsed Appropriations Contingency Plan document issued by the Department of Treasury. The IRS will continue operations for only exempted activities, which are classified as those necessary for the safety of human life or protection of government property or necessary to transition the shutdown of operations. Activities that remain include return processing and tax collection. The government shutdown does not change any filing, tax payment or request for refund statutory deadlines.
The IRS is prohibited from performing all non-exempted activities. Such activities include operating its taxpayer phone services, including the Practitioner Priority Service line.
Additional non-exempt activities that will be suspended during a shutdown include, non-automated collections; issuing refunds; information processing functions other than those necessary to prevent data loss in processing and revenue collections; planning functions, including those for implementing tax reform; processing 1040X Amended Returns; and all audit functions, examination of returns and processing of non-electronic tax returns that do not include remittances. Despite the suspension of IRS examination activities, practitioners and taxpayers should still timely respond to any previously issued Information Document Requests.