Congress and the president have until midnight tonight to pass a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown. As of this morning, reports are that Congress has come to an agreement to pass a stopgap funding bill that will keep the government funded at current levels through Dec. 3.
However, unlike the proposed resolution from last week, this one does not address the approaching debt limit. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the federal government will likely run out of cash and extraordinary measures by Oct.18.
If government appropriations were to lapse, the IRS has a contingency plan, which identifies the following activities that would continue:
- Activities necessary for the payment of refunds
- Completion and testing of the upcoming filing year programs
- Processing remittances
- Processing disaster relief transcripts
- Processing mail
- Responding to taxpayer questions (call sites; only if during filing season)
- Continuing the IRS’s computer operations to prevent the loss of data
- Protection of statute expiration, bankruptcy, liens and seizure cases
- Upcoming tax year forms design and printing
The plan also identifies activities that would cease:
- Processing non-disaster relief transcripts
- All audit functions and examination of returns
- Non-automated collections
- Taxpayer services such as responding to taxpayer questions (call sites; during non-filing season)
Planning, research, training and development activities (except as necessary to perform excepted activities, e.g., filing season or needed to perform exempt activities) (Source: NATP TAXPRO Weekly, 9/30/21).