As the government shutdown continues, many Californians who have pending business with the government have been left with a lot of questions. For those currently involved in a tax dispute or an audit, figuring out what to do next in light of the shutdown can be confusing and stressful.
Some people might be under the impression that the shutdown means that their issue will be suspended until the government resumes its normal functions, but that isn’t quite the case. At the same time, staff has been cut so some of the assistance and services that have been offered in the past are not available.
This is a highly unusual set of circumstances, but the confusion surround the current situation with the IRS makes it a particularly important time to seek out help on any tax disputes or audits that are currently pending. One of the services that is not available during the shutdown is the IRS customer service line, where agents are usually on call to answer questions. With the October 15th deadline for extensions on 2012 tax returns approaching, this means that individuals may need to go elsewhere for answers to their tax questions since that deadline remains in place.
Audits are on pause while many auditors are furloughed, but experts say that they will pick back up again when the government returns to full capacity. As a result those facing an audit should continue to organize their defense against any allegations of wrongdoing so that they will be prepared when auditors return to work.
Source: CNN, “The Shutdown, the IRS, and your taxes,” Melanie Hicken, Oct. 5, 2013.