With a political stalemate looming in Washington, the Treasury Department and the IRS released their contingency plan for what would happen at the service in the event of a government shutdown -- and one thing that wouldn't happen is any postponement of tax filing deadlines.
The plan covers what the IRS has done to prepare for a possible shutdown, how it would initiate its plans, and how it would re-activate its functions afterward. It is designed to comply with the Anti-Deficiency Act, which prohibits spending or employing personnel during a lapse in government appropriations -- except to protect life or property –- unless they are otherwise authorized by law.
While the plan lists several functions that will be suspended, it expects that tax filing and processing will continue, so the upcoming October 15 deadline for extensions will remain a hard date. The IRS will also continue designing next season’s tax forms, and testing next year’s filing software.
The agency expects that it would take half a day to shut down those activities that aren’t excepted, and that only around 8,700 of its 94,500 employees, or 9.3 percent, would remain on the job.
Though extensive, the 61-page document only covers what will happen if the shutdown lasts five days; if it goes beyond that, deputy commissioner for operations support will initiate a re-assessment of activities and any necessary adjustments in terms of personnel.