IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION: Government Shutdown = No Taxes, Right?

Oct 10, 2013


The dreaded October 15th deadline is rapidly approaching. This is the last day an individual can file their 2012 tax return without penalty, if they sought an extension back in April. However, with the government shutdown you may be wondering if you will have additional time to file. That answer, unfortunately, is NO.

According to the IRS’s website, “All tax deadlines remain in effect, including those covering individuals, corporations, partnerships and employers. The regular payroll tax deadlines will remain in effect as well. Penalties and interest still apply for all late filings not received by the regular deadlines.” This means that you must file and pay all remaining tax liability by the 15th of October.

So the question arises, if you still have to file and pay on time, then anyone who is due a refund should be receiving it shortly, right? Nope! Many of the IRS employees have been furloughed, as they are considered nonessential personal. Therefore, no one is actually processing your return until the shutdown is over. Meaning that you won’t be receiving a refund for quite a while.

To add another wrench in the process, if you have a question regarding your 2012 taxes and want to contact the IRS for guidance, you will be unable to reach them. The live customer service agents who you normally call have been furloughed. Some good news is that many of the automated assistance lines are still up and running. But if you seek to discuss complex issues live with a specialist, you will have to wait until the government has resumed normal operations.

What happens if you are under current examination? This too will not continue until the shutdown is over. This could be good news, if you need more time to gather information or bad if you are due a refund and hoping to receive it soon.

Basically, what all this means for the average taxpayer is:  proceed with your normal day-to-day operations and get your taxes filed.  Unless you are due a refund, then you are on hold until the Government is back up and running!

By: Robert Bradshaw, CPA

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