Death and Taxes Still a Certainty During Shutdown – IRS Still Collecting Taxes But Not Issuing Refunds

While over 85,000 IRS workers have been sent home due to the government shutdown, taxpayers hoping that the government closure might provide a silver lining should not celebrate just yet. According to the IRS, all taxes are due as usual and the electronic filing system continues to operate despite the closure.

With a major tax deadline looming on October 15th, this is bad news for anyone who has waited until now to start their returns. While taxes remain due, IRS workers will not be on hand to answer taxpayer questions. And those who were sent notices of insufficient payment prior to the shutdown – the clock is still ticking on any potential appeals.

Expecting a refund? Guess again. While the IRS will accept your tax payments, apparently providing refunds is not essential during the shutdown.

“I am definitely seeing an impact of the shutdown on my clients, many of whom simply cannot wait for the government to work out its differences,” said Caroline Ware, who is the Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) for Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida (CLSMF). “For example, I have an elderly client living off less than $1,000 each month who is facing a levy of his social security benefits. Normally I would be able to help someone in his situation, but no one is answering the phones or opening the mail at the IRS.”

A Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) is a program that receives a matching grant from the IRS to assist low income individuals who have a tax dispute with the IRS, or to provide education and outreach to individuals who speak English as a second language (ESL). LITCs are not part of the IRS but receive partial funding from the IRS via the LITC grant program, administered by the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

Learn more about CLSMF’s efforts to help low income residents in Central Florida with their taxes.

Learn more about IRS operations during the shutdown here.