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Effects of the Shutdown on Taxpayers

October 24, 2013

The IRS shutdown that lasted for 16 days worried taxpayers about tax return deadlines, refunds, tax lien, and many tax processes that were still underway when the shutdown happened. But the effects of the shutdown will be felt in 2014. The IRS announced recently that it will postpone the tax filing season next year for one to two weeks. The IRS has cited the shutdown as the reason for the delay. Postponing the filing season will help the IRS to prepare their system because “to handle the tax season is an intricate, detailed process, and we must take the time to get it right.”

At the beginning of this year, the IRS had postponed the filing season because the Congress was yet to decide on important tax policies. For taxpayers, it means more confusion and difficulties. During the shutdown, the IRS was not issuing refunds, taking phone calls or performing their usual operations. As many of the automated processes such as electronic filing of tax returns were running, taxpayers could file their returns, both electronically and through the post.

Taxpayers can hope to receive their refunds soon, as the IRS has now opened its operations. Slight delays are expected, as the agency will need to clear the backlog. For urgent tax issues, taxpayers can either give a call to the IRS or visit the Taxpayer Assistance Center in their area. For quick results, it is best to use automated facilities on www.irs.gov till normalcy.

The shutdown has caused delays, which might reflect on the filing season and many of the activities of the IRS. Considering the demand for their services every day, the effect of the 16-day shutdown will remain longer.

One benefit that has come out of the IRS shutdown is that those under tax debt and in danger of collection actions such as the tax lien or levy will get time to resolve their back tax. Taxpayers must keep fulfilling their tax obligations and wait for the IRS’s response. Taxpayers can keep them up-to-date about the shutdown and its effects by visiting the IRS website.

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