During the shutdown, the IRS closed many of its operations. Starting October 17, the agency started to reopen its operations, but the wait may be a little longer, as employees are being brought back to resume all operations. Many of the IRS’s phone lines and Taxpayer Assistance Centers have been reopened. The IRS website remains the best way to stay informed about the IRS’ operations during the shutdown and as it resumes normal functions.
The IRS received a large amount of correspondence during the shutdown, which they will need to clear. It might mean delay for taxpayers that need clearance from the IRS on various tax matters. Most of the usual operations of the IRS are still not functioning normally, but the IRS has begun to process tax refunds for individuals and businesses. They are also honoring transcript and authorization requests from third parties.
The shutdown has made things difficult for the IRS, as they will now need to process the requests they received during the shutdown along with their usual workload. The agency will be working to recover from the 16-day closure.
Because of lack of manpower, the IRS is requesting that taxpayers wait if their tax issue is not urgent or to use automated facilities on the IRS website. Taxpayers that must contact the IRS can visit Taxpayer Assistance Centers in their area or call the IRS.
Taxpayers that filed their tax returns through the post will receive their returns late, as the IRS was not processing payments during shutdown. The automated filing of tax returns and the processing of payments was done, but refunds were not issued. Those that filed tax returns electronically can expect to receive their refunds sooner.
The shutdown has postponed many of the tax operations both for the IRS and the taxpayers. It will take a little time for the IRS to recover from the backlog, but the good news is that the work has begun.