IRS Issues Guidance and FAQs Regarding Resumption of Operations

On October 17, the Internal Revenue Service reopened after being closed for sixteen days due to the federal government shutdown.  Reopening a massive government agency like the IRS apparently takes time, and doesn’t occur overnight.  In order to assist taxpayers and practitioners in understanding how the agency will (slowly) resume operations, the IRS has posted guidance and some FAQs on its website to address many open questions.  Here is a summary of the notices issued by the IRS since reopening on October 17:

  • Operations Resumption Statement (available here)
  • What to Expect as IRS Resumes Operations (available here)
  • Frequently Asked Questions:  Resumption of Field Exam Activities (available here)
  • Frequently Asked Questions:  Resumption of Field Collections Activities (available here)
  • 2014 Tax Season to Start Later Following Government Closure (available here) (see prior post here)

During the closure, the IRS received 400,000 pieces of correspondence, which added to the existing backlog of 1 million items that were being processed before the shutdown.  As IRS operations slowly come back on line, the IRS asks taxpayers and practitioners to be patient and to continue to use automated applications on the IRS website (www.IRS.gov) whenever possible.  In a statement, IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said, “In the days ahead, we will continue assessing the impact of the shutdown on IRS operations, and we will do everything we can to work through the backlog and pent-up demand.  We greatly appreciate the patience of taxpayers and the tax professional community during this period.”

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