Friday, April 8, 2011

FYI: IF there is a Federal Government Shutdown (IRS related Information)

Hello Everyone,
I the event of a Federal Government Shutdown, IRS Communications has prepared a document addressing the following:  
  • IRS Operations During a Government Shutdown
  • How Does This Affect Me?  What Do I Do?
  • What Will Happen at the IRS IF the Government Shuts Down? 
  • Operations Closed or Unavailable During a Government Shutdown (Partial Listing)
  • Information for Tax Practitioners
Please see below for document's information.  (I have bolded the font to highlight certain information below).  
Jennifer Henrie-Brown, ID #94-07690
Stakeholder Liaison Specialist
SBSE Communications, Liaison & Disclosure
510-637-2199/ fax 510-637-2434

IRS Operations During A Government Shutdown


If the federal government shuts down, IRS operations will be severely limited. However, the underlying tax law remains in effect, and all taxpayers should continue to meet their tax obligations as normal.


Individuals should keep filing their tax returns with the IRS and are required to do so by April 18 unless they obtain a six-month extension.  The IRS will be accepting all tax returns.  Once they’ve been accepted, the IRS will generally process and issue refunds for electronically filed individual returns. 


Individuals are urged to file electronically, because most of these returns are processed automatically and should not be delayed.  Because of limited IRS staffing, paper returns will be accepted, but will not be processed in the event of a government shutdown and taxpayers who file paper returns will experience a delay in receiving their refunds. Limited telephone customer service functions will remain available, but IRS walk-in taxpayer assistance centers will be closed. 


While the government is closed, people with appointments related to examinations (audits), collection, Appeals or Taxpayer Advocate cases should assume their meetings are cancelled. IRS personnel will reschedule those meetings at a later date. 


Here are some basic steps for taxpayers to follow in case of a governnment shutdown:


How Does This Affect Me? What Do I Do?


  • You should continue to file and pay taxes as normal.
  • The April 18, 2011, tax deadline for filing the 1040 series of tax returns remains in effect.
  • Individuals filing the 1040 series of returns can still request a six-month filing extension to Oct. 17 by filing Form 4868. Taxpayers who request a filing extension must still make their tax payments by April 18, 2011.
  • The quarterly estimated tax payment due April 18 is unchanged.
  • All other tax deadlines remain in effect, including those covering individuals, corporations, partnerships and employers. The regular payroll tax deadlines remain in effect as well.
  • You can file your tax return electronically or on paper –– although the processing of paper returns will be delayed until full government operations resume. Payments accompanying paper tax returns will still be accepted as the IRS receives them.
  • Tax refunds for most electronically filed returns will continue to be issued. Because of limited IRS staffing, taxpayers who file paper returns will experience a delay in receiving their refunds.
  • Tax software companies, tax practitioners and Free File remain available to assist with taxes.
  • State tax deadlines are not impacted by the federal government shutdown.


What Will Happen At The IRS If The Government Shuts Down?


Only the most basic functions will remain operating in light of the critical April 18 filing deadline.


Operations Available

During the Government Shutdown


Tax processing operations are continuing at this time for electronically filed 1040 series tax returns.


Tax refunds will be issued as returns are processed, so most tax refunds for electronically filed returns will be issued. Taxpayers should expect longer than normal delays for paper filed tax refunds. IRS e-file and Free File remain the best way of getting tax refunds quickly and are unaffected by the government shutdown.


Tax deposits and payments are being processed, both for electronic and paper tax returns. Taxpayers should continue to make these payments as normal.


The IRS will continue accepting all tax returns during this period. In addition to individual e-file, business e-file will remain open as well and refunds for business e-filers will continue.


For individual taxpayers seeking assistance, the regular 800-829-1040 telephone line remains open. However, this line will not accept calls unrelated to individual tax issues, and taxpayers should anticipate much longer wait times. As an alternative, taxpayers are strongly encouraged to use


The IRS website,, will remain available, although some interactive features may not be available. ”Where’s My Refund” will remain available on the IRS website for people to check on the status of their tax refunds.


If people have already filed their return and the IRS has started processing their tax return, they generally will see no delays in their refunds being issued. The best source for information will be checking "Where's My Refund" at


The IRS Free File partners will continue to accept and file tax returns.


Tax software companies will continue to accept and file tax returns.


The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs will remain open in many locations to offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. Many Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics will remain open.


Many automated IRS notices will continue to be mailed.


Operations Closed

Or Unavailable During a Government Shutdown

(Partial Listing)


Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) where taxpayers walk-in for service will be closed. People with scheduled appointments during the government shutdown will have to reschedule.


While the government is closed, people with appointments related to examinations (audits), collection, Appeals or Taxpayer Advocate cases should assume their meetings are cancelled. IRS personnel will reschedule those meetings at a later date.


No live telephone assistance will be available for non-1040 series business taxpayers on the 800-829-4933 number.


No live telephone assistance will be available for exempt organizations, retirement plans administrators or governmental entities that use the 877-829-5500 number.


The phone number for victims of identity theft (800-908-4490) will not be available.


The IRS will not be working any paper correspondence during this period.


 Most IRS legal counsel services will stop.



Information for Tax Practitioners


·          The e-Help Desk will be available for e-file error reject code assistance only -- Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time.


·          The Practitioner Priority Service line will not be available.


·          Quick Alerts will be issued as necessary via the normal e-mail process.


FYI: IRS News Events (4-08-2011)

Hello Everyone,
I hope all is going well with you!
Below is the second edition of the IRS News Events I have sent to you.  (I have been adding additional names and email addresses to the original "email addresses only" list originally provided to me).  If you did not receive the first IRS News Events I sent on March 21st and would like a copy, let me know and I'll be happy to email it to you
I wish you all a very successful filing season! 
Jennifer Henrie-Brown, ID #94-07690
Stakeholder Liaison Specialist
SBSE Communications, Liaison & Disclosure
510-637-2199/ fax 510-637-2434

Please share the below information with your members and colleagues.  Select the underlined links to see the full article.


Newsroom                                                                                                                   April 8, 2011


Don't Fall Prey to the 2011 Dirty Dozen Tax Scams
IR-2011-39, April 7, 2011 –– Hidden offshore accounts, phishing and return preparer fraud are just the start.

Prepared Remarks of IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman at the National Press Club
IR-2011-38, April 6, 2011 — IRS Commissioner Shulman delivers prepared remarks titled "On the Horizon: A Vision for the Future of Our Tax System."

IRS Issues Guidance on Telecommunication Network Assets; Industry Issue Resolution Program Resolves Disputes
IR-2011-36, April 4, 2011 — The IRS announced that it has published guidance for taxpayers in the telecommunications industry with the aim of resolving disputes involving the capitalization and depreciation of network assets.  See Rev Proc-2011-28, Rev Proc-2011-27 and Rev Proc-2011-22 for additional guidance.

Treasury Dept. and IRS Extend the Deadline for Filing Form 8939 Beyond the Previously Set April 18; Guidance to Follow with a New Deadline
IR-2011-33, March 31, 2011 — The Treasury Department and the IRS announced that Form 8939 is not due on April 18, 2011, and should not be filed with the final Form 1040 of persons who died in 2010. New guidance will be issued.

IRS Expands and Makes Permanent Its Compliance Assurance Process (CAP) for Large Corporate Taxpayers
IR-2011-32, March 31, 2011 — IRS officials announced that the six-year-old Compliance Assurance Process (CAP) pilot program for large corporate taxpayers is being expanded and made permanent.

IRS Issues Interim Guidance on Informational Reporting of Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage
IR-2011-31, March 29, 2011 — The Internal Revenue Service today issued interim guidance to employers on informational reporting on each employee's annual Form W-2 of the cost of the health insurance coverage they sponsor for employees.


IMRS Hot Issues - April 1, 2011

Contact information change for the International CAF Function; New Effort to Help Struggling Taxpayers Get a Fresh Start; Changes Made to Lien Process; Allowable Living Expense Standards for 2011 Updated and more . . .


IRS Technical Guidance


Notice 2011-32 designates the Japan earthquake and tsunami occurring in March 2011 as a qualified disaster for purposes of § 139 of the Internal Revenue Code.  Notice 2011-32 will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2011-18, dated May 2, 2011.


Notice 2011-26 informs tax return preparers of administrative exemptions from the new electronic filing requirement under section 6011(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and §§ 1.6011-7 and 301.6011-7 of the Regulations on Procedure and Administration.

Notice 2011-27 solely for calendar year 2011, provides transitional guidance relating to the new electronic filing requirement under section 6011(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and corresponding regulations, specifically regarding the filing restrictions placed upon specified tax return preparers by that Code section and § 301.6011-7(a)(4)(i).


Revenue Procedure 2011-25 provides guidance to specified tax return preparers regarding the time for filing and manner (form and content) of requests for waiver of the electronic filing requirement due to undue hardship, under section 6011(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and §§ 1.6011-7 and 301.6011-7 of the Regulations on Procedure and Administration.


Revenue Procedure 2011-26 provides guidance on the new 100 percent bonus depreciation from the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Specifically it explains the eligibility requirements for qualified property to be eligible for the 100 percent additional first year depreciation deduction.


TD 9518 Final Regulations  provides guidance on the requirement for "specified tax return preparers" to file individual income tax returns using magnetic media pursuant to section 6011(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). The publication and effective date is March 30.




National/Local Phone Forums and Webinars for Practitioners

·         Accessing IRS Records, April 27, 2011


IRS Nationwide Tax Forums 

The first forum will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, starting June 28 - 30.


I hope you find this information useful.  If you would like additional information, you can subscribe to an IRS e-Subscription by going to the Subscription page on


If you would like to discontinue receiving my local Stakeholder Liaison e-mails, please e-mail me at and request removal of your name.