The IRS published a “Fiscal 2018 Lapsed Appropriations Contingency Plan (During Filing Season)” to detail which employees would be furloughed during a government shutdown, as well as the services that will or will not be maintained during any shutdown.
Congress failed to pass a continuing resolution to continue funding of the federal government past January 19, 2018, thus triggering the plan. As the shutdown began at the start of a weekend, the real effect of implementing this plan will not be felt until Monday, January 22, 2018. Should Congress resolve their impasse over the weekend it’s possible that taxpayers and advisers will see no impact.
But should the shutdown continue beyond that point the IRS plan provides that the agency will continue to process tax returns, though refunds will not be paid.
Initially the IRS will continue to employ a significant number of people to process the various tax returns the agency receives. If the shutdown continues beyond five days, the IRS is to reassess its staffing.
Services that won’t be available during the shutdown include:
- Phone centers for taxpayers
- Practitioner priority phone line
- Collections (other than automated collections)
- Legal counsel (other than those necessary to meet statutory deadlines)
- Planning for implementation of TCJA