IRS collecting money but not sending refunds during shutdown

Acting Internal Revenue Service chief Danny Werfel. (Associated Press)

Acting Internal Revenue Service chief Danny Werfel. (Associated Press)

The IRS is continuing to collect your taxes during the shutdown, but don’t expect to be getting any refunds you may be owed until the government reopens.

“Individuals and businesses should keep filing their tax returns and making deposits with the IRS, as they are required to do so by law,” the agency said in its guidance for taxpayers. “The IRS will accept and process all tax returns with payments, but will be unable to issue refunds during this time.”

An important deadline is looming: Taxpayers who requested a six-month extension on their 2012 tax returns are still required to file their form by Oct. 15. The agency said all other normal deadlines also remain in effect.

The good news is that audits are also being halted. The bad news is they’ll be rescheduled once the agency is up and running again.

The IRS said it expected to furlough more than 85,000 employees, leaving only about 9.3 percent of its staff on duty.

That includes seven employees at the Exempt Organizations division, which is the branch that stands accused of targeting tea party applications for special scrutiny, according to the IRS’s contingency plan.

Here are the employees in that division who remain on the job, according to the contingency plan: “1 Director, Exempt Organizations (EO); 1 Director, EO Examinations; 1 Manager, Examination Programs and Review; 1 Examination Special Support Employee; 1 EO Technical Processing Unit employee; 1 Manager Processing Section; and 1 Manager, Adjustment Unit (EO Determinations).”

“This staff will ensure statute protection and processing of remittances as needed,” the IRS said.

Another 10 employees from the counsel’s office who are detailed to the Tax Exempt & Government Organizations division are also still on the job. The IRS said they are there to handle critical court cases.

Washington Times


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