Temporary Reopening of the Federal Government

On January 25, Congress passed a continuing resolution to temporarily reopen the federal government through February 15, 2019.  IRS personnel generally reported back to work Monday, January 28.  While it is expected to take IRS staff many months to catch up with work missed during the shutdown, here is what we expect upon reopening:

Telephone service.  Initially, we expect telephone lines to be staffed.  Facsimile machines, which were generally not operating during the shutdown, should be operating, which means IRS staff will be able to receive power of attorney forms during a call.  We do expect some delay in responsiveness, as it is still unclear if telephone staff will be equipped to handle all matters.

Exam and appeals.  Exam and appeals staff should be back to work.  We expect exam and appeals staff to contact taxpayers and their representatives upon returning to work.

Return and remittance processing.  Returns and remittances should continue to be processed.  Due to the backup in workload, we anticipate delays in processing; however, the IRS should get back to its typical work levels in short time.  If submissions were made prior to or during the shutdown, there may be delays in processing as IRS staff return to work.

If you have any questions concerning the government shutdown as it impacts IRS operations, please contact a member of BDO’s Tax Controversy team.