Impact on IRS Operations during Government Shutdown

12-28-2018Tax Information

Due to the current lapse in appropriations, IRS operations are limited. However, the underlying tax law remains in effect, and all taxpayers should continue to meet their tax obligations as normal.

  • Individuals and businesses should keep filing their tax returns and making deposits with the IRS, as they are required to do so by law.
  • The IRS will accept and process all tax returns with payments.
  • Payments accompanying paper tax returns will still be accepted as the IRS receives them.
  • Tax refunds will not be issued until normal government operations resume.
  • Taxpayers are urged to file electronically, because most of these returns will be processed automatically. 
  • The processing of paper returns will be delayed until full government operations resume.  Paper tax returns will be considered timely filed even though the IRS is not processing paper returns because the United States Postal Service is operating and any return postmarked by the due date will be considered to be filed timely.
  • No live telephone customer service assistance will be available, however most automated toll-free telephone applications will remain operational. 
  • IRS walk-in taxpayer assistance centers will be closed.
  • While the government is closed, people with appointments related to examinations (audits), collection, Appeals or Taxpayer Advocate cases should assume their meetings are cancelled. IRS personnel will reschedule those meetings at a later date.
  • Automated IRS notices will continue to be mailed.  The IRS will not be working any paper correspondence during this period.
  • Taxpayers can still use automated tools, including, to request that a transcript of their personal tax records be sent to their address of record; the taxpayer will typically receive transcripts in the mail within five to 10 calendar days.
  • Transcript requests from third parties require actions by IRS employees, who are not available due to the current lapse in government appropriations.
  • The IRS is not sending out levies or liens – either those generated systemically or those manually generated by employees.