Tax Defense Network is relieved to report that after 16 days, the government shutdown ended last Thursday, and the 91% of Internal Revenue Service employees that were furloughed were ordered to report back to work.

This means that all IRS functions that were put on hold during the shutdown will resume. This includes the processing of paper returns, refunds, and third-party requests for transcripts and authorizations. However, the IRS has over two weeks of correspondence to process and examine, so taxpayers should expect delays.

In fact, in a statement on its website, the IRS admits, “The public may experience longer wait times or limited service as we take steps to bring employees back to work and resume all operations.” The IRS asks taxpayers for continued patience as “initial delays can be expected as the IRS resumes full operations and works through backlogged inventory.”

The bad news is that as the IRS returns to normal functions, the enforcement actions that were suspended during the shutdown, such as levies and liens, will also resume. Taxpayers under the threat of levy or lien had a brief break for the 2 weeks the shutdown lasted, but now they are once again vulnerable to IRS collection actions.

With the IRS still getting back in gear, it is important to make arrangements to resolve tax debt before the IRS has a chance to take collection action. It may take a few days or even weeks, but the IRS will issue levies and liens to secure payment toward tax debt. Taxpayers should take action before the IRS has a chance to garnish wages or levy bank accounts.

Even when the government was shut down, Tax Defense Network remained open and continues to help clients by offering a free tax debt consultation to taxpayers who want to make arrangements to resolve tax debt before the IRS takes collection actions against them.

Established in 1997, Tax Defense Network has helped resolve $120 million in client tax debt. Our team of licensed tax professionals, CPAs and enrolled agents helps resolve tax issues of both individuals and small businesses. Tax Defense Network has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.