IRS — October 02, 2013

How Will the Federal Government Shutdown Affect the IRS?

by Bob Williams

government shutdown and your taxes

So the House and the Senate have failed to figure out a way to compromise and continue appropriations, necessitating a "shutdown" of the federal government. How does this affect the IRS and, more importantly, your taxes?

First and foremost, the IRS has pointed out that tax law remains in effect, and all taxpayers should continue to meet their tax obligations. So you're not going to get a reprieve from having to file your extended return by Oct. 15, or from making any tax payments that are due during the shutdown. And most importantly, the IRS says it won't issue refunds during the shutdown.

How does this affect me?

  • You should continue to file and pay taxes as normal. If you got an extension of time to file, you should file your return by Oct. 15, 2013.
  • All other tax deadlines remain in effect.
  • You can file your tax return electronically or on paper – but if you file a paper return, your return will not be processed until the shutdown is over. Payments accompanying paper tax returns will still be accepted as the IRS receives them.
  • Tax refunds will not be issued until normal government operations resume.

What IRS services will be available?

  • If you need to call the IRS, only the automated parts of the IRS's regular 800-829-1040 phone number will be available. You will not be able to speak to an IRS representative.
  • The IRS website,, will remain available, although some interactive features may not be available.

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