The IRS announced that the agency will reopen the Income Verification Express Program and some user-fee based program (IRS Statement - IRS Reopens IVES, Some Fee-based Programs, www.irs.gov). These programs had been suspended during the government shutdown.
The IRS statement notes the reasons why the agency is reopening these programs:
While the IRS remains closed during the partial government shutdown, the agency recognizes the immediate hardship incurred if information is not available through the Income Verification Express Service (IVES) program as well as by taxpayers who have been unable to certify their residency in the United States for certain tax treaty benefits or by those who have been unable to obtain photocopies of tax returns.
The statement notes that processing requests under the IVES program, used primarily to verify income to mortgage lenders, on January 7. The IRS warns that turnaround time will be longer than normal as the agency works the backlog of requests.
It will take time to bring this service up to normal operating status. The IRS advises IVES participants that it may initially take longer than the standard 72-hour turnaround time for the IRS to process these requests. This is due to employees being brought back to work to begin processing backlogged requests since the funding lapse began on Dec. 22.
The IRS also noted other user-fee based programs that will again begin to function:
The IRS also will start other user fee-based services such as providing a letter needed by some taxpayers to certify their residency in the United States for certain tax treaty benefits and responding to requests for photocopies of tax returns. The IRS notes that tax transcripts – which show most of the information from a tax return – are easily obtained online more quickly, are free and sufficient for most purposes. Taxpayers who still need a paper copy of their actual tax return may submit a Form 4506 along with a $50 fee for a copy of each return. It may take 75 calendar days to process a request for a copy of a return.