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Federal Government Shutdown – Impact on Internal Revenue Service Functions

At 12.01am on October 1, 2013, after Congress failed to reach an agreement to fund the government, the federal government shut down.  This has a huge impact on many government agencies including the functions of the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”).  While the government remains shutdown, the IRS will be operating in a very limited mode.  To that end:

  • Audits and other proceedings before the IRS including meetings and proceedings before IRS appeals will likely be postponed or suspended.  Pending audits and meetings will effectively be canceled to be rescheduled for a later date when the government is funded and re-opens;
  • Processing of Applications for Registration on Form 637 will be delayed;
  • Both the Office of Chief Counsel and Field Offices will operate in a very limited capacity, delaying the issuance of guidance and response to inquiries on tax-related questions;
  • Refunds will continue to be processed but may be delayed.

Please note that all tax returns and payments must continue to be filed and paid in a timely manner during a government shutdown, although they may not be processed by the IRS until the government re-opens.