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Effect of the Government Shutdown on the IRS

  • No live telephone customer service assistance will be available, however most automated toll-free telephone applications will remain operational. 
  •  While the government is closed, people with appointments related to examinations (audits), collection, Appeals or Taxpayer Advocate cases should assume their meetings are cancelled. 

How does this affect you?

 You should continue to file and pay taxes as normal. Individuals who requested an extension of time to file should file their returns by Oct. 15, 2013.

  • All other tax deadlines remain in effect, including those covering individuals, corporations, partnerships and employers. The regular payroll tax deadlines remain in effect as well.
  • You can file your tax return electronically or on paper although the processing of paper returns will be delayed until full government operations resume. 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.
  • Tax software companies, tax practitioners and Free File will remain available to assist with taxes.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is the Oct 15 due date still in effect and should people still file? 

Taxpayers should continue to file and pay taxes during a lapse in appropriations as they would under normal government operations. Individuals who requested an extension of time to file should file their returns by Oct. 15, 2013. Taxpayers can file their tax return electronically or on paper, though the processing of paper returns will be delayed until full government operations resume. 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. Tax software companies, tax practitioners and Free File will remain available to assist with taxes. 

All other tax deadlines remain in effect, including those covering individuals, corporations, partnerships and employers. The regular payroll tax deadlines remain in effect as well. Penalties and interest still apply for all late filings not received by the regular deadlines.

Will electronically filed returns be processed? 

Individuals and businesses should keep filing their tax returns and making deposits with the IRS, as they are required to do so by law. Taxpayers are urged to file electronically, because most of these returns will be processed automatically. Payments accompanying electronic tax returns will be accepted as the IRS receives them, although the IRS will be unable to issue refunds during this time. 

Will paper tax returns be processed? 

Individuals and businesses should keep filing their tax returns and making deposits with the IRS as they are required to do so by law. However, the processing of paper returns will be delayed until full government operations resume. Payments accompanying paper tax returns will still be accepted as the IRS receives them, though the IRS will be unable to issue refunds during this time. 

Will paper tax returns be considered timely filed even though the IRS is not processing paper returns?

Yes. the United States Postal Service  is operating during the shutdown, and they will postmark and deliver mail to the IRS.  Any return postmarked by the due date will be considered timely filed by the IRS even though processing of the return may not occur until after the return due date depending on the length of the lapse in appropriations.

The Premium Tax Credit:

The Department of Health and Human Services administers the requirements for the Marketplace and the health plans they offer. For more information about your coverage options, financial assistance and the Marketplace, visit HealthCare.gov.

Eligibility

In general, you may be eligible for the credit if you meet all of the following:

  • buy health insurance through the Marketplace;
  • are ineligible for coverage through an employer or government plan;
  • are within certain income limits;
  • file a joint return, if married; and
  • cannot be claimed as a dependent by another person.

If you are eligible for the credit, you can choose to:

  • Get It Now: have some or all of the estimated credit paid in advance directly to your insurance company to lower what you pay out-of-pocket for your monthly premiums during 2014; or
  • Get It Later: wait to get all of the credit when you file your 2014 tax return in 2015.

Getting the Credit

To qualify for the credit, you must get insurance through the Marketplace.

During enrollment through the Marketplace, using information you provide about your projected income and family composition for 2014, the Marketplace will estimate the amount of the Premium Tax Credit you will be able to claim for the 2014 tax year that you will file in 2015.

Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions:

Effect of Sequestration on Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

Pursuant to the requirements of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as amended, refund payments issued to certain small tax-exempt employers claiming the refundable portion of the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit under Internal Revenue Code Section 45R, are subject to sequestration. This means that refund payments processed on or after Oct.1, 2013, and on or before Sept. 30, 2014, to a Section 45R applicant will be reduced by the fiscal year 2014 sequestration rate of 7.2 percent, irrespective of when the original or amended tax return was received by the IRS. The sequestration reduction rate will be applied unless and until a law is enacted that cancels or otherwise impacts the sequester, at which time the sequestration reduction rate is subject to change.

Affected taxpayers will be notified through correspondence that a portion of their requested payment was subject to the sequester reduction and the amount.