IRSWith all the recent news about the shutdown of the federal government coming out of Washington, we are getting plenty of questions about what effects this is having on taxpayers and IRS operations. Despite your personal views, IRS functions are generally considered “essential” by Washington standards. So for taxpayers, it’s business as usual. Under the law, taxpayers are still obligated to pay their taxes and file their returns according to statutory deadlines. In other words, there are no breaks for the taxpaying public. The deadline for filing individual returns is still October 15. On the IRS side, certain manpower intensive parts of the agency will be closed. In general, this includes the agency’s call centers, walk-in facilities and paper processing facilities. Paper tax returns will be held for processing until after the agency is reopened and phone lines will only provide automated phone-tree support. IRS walk-in taxpayer assistance centers will be closed. While the government is closed, people with appointments related to audits, collections, Appeals or Taxpayer Advocate cases should assume their meetings are cancelled. IRS personnel will reschedule those meetings at a later date. For electronic tax returns, the IRS is accepting and processing all electronic returns and will continue to do so throughout the federal government shutdown. What about tax payments? According to the IRS, payments are being processed for both electronic and paper returns, but refunds are being delayed until after the shutdown ends. More information and an extensive FAQ is available on at: