Until the government shut-down is resolved, expect to hear this message if you try to contact IRS, “Welcome to the Internal Revenue Service. Live telephone assistance is not available at this time…”
Only 12.5 percent of IRS employees (around 9,946) are working right now. The rest (66,942) are on furlough, pending an end to the shutdown or a new "Lapse in Appropriations Contingency Plan" calling some back to work.
In the meantime, most of the few employees still on duty are performing tasks deemed “necessary for the safety of human life or protection of government property.”
In other words, a lot of information technology professional remain on duty.
In other words, you can send your payments, but you cannot receive a refund. You cannot contact IRS with questions, and you cannot conduct important functions such as faxing Forms 2848 to the IRS CAF Unit.
The tax court was also shut down beginning December 28, 2018, and “will remain closed until further notice” according to the website. Trial sessions already scheduled, however, will continue as scheduled.
Congress funded Tax Cut and Jobs Act implementation for IRS through September 30, 2019. Guidance has continued to issue. The review process currently underway for final 199A regulations is apparently continuing as well.
The IRS Contingency plan was only technically effective through December 31, 2018. As of this afternoon, however, no new plan has been issued. We are watching to see if more workers are called back as the beginning of filing season looms. We are also watching for an announcement of how the shutdown may impact the starting date of the 2019 filing season. We were already facing difficulties given the extensive nature of the new tax laws and the lack of final guidance and forms.
USDA is also largely shut down. The agency announced today that the January 11 crop reports would be delayed. Market facilitation program payments were mailed before the FSA offices were closed last Friday, but applications that have not been processed are now on hold until further notice. Secretary Perdue is considering extending the January 15, 2018 deadline. Diffficulty also faces farmers seeking to pay off marketing assistance loans. Such payments cannot be arranged (to authorize sale of the crop) until FSA offices reopen.
CALT does not provide legal advice. Any information provided on this website is not intended to be a substitute for legal services from a competent professional. CALT's work is supported by fee-based seminars and generous private gifts. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material contained on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of Iowa State University.