The IRS has a contingency plan in place, the Lapsed Appropriations Contingency Plan (‘contingency plan’), in preparation for the US government shutdown which is currently occurring.
The 120-page document details what areas of the IRS will shut down, and what activities will be affected.
Activities which will cease include:
- Issuing of refunds
- Processing non-disaster relief transcripts, income verification express service/return and income verification services
- Processing of amended income tax returns
- All audit functions, examination of returns, and processing of non-electronic tax returns that do not include remittances
- Non-automated collections
- Legal counsel
- Taxpayer services including call centres
Activities which will continue to be conducted include:
- Processing of remittances including payment perfection
- Completion and testing of 2019 Filing Year programmes
- Processing of returns with payments
- Design and printing of tax forms
- Processing disaster relief transcripts
What does this mean for expats?
The Withholding and International Individual Compliance Practice Area, the area of the Large Business and International Division (LB&I) of the IRS has 20 employees. All 20 employees fall within category B “Excepted Activities”. This means these employees are authorized to continue operating only to the extent necessary for the oversight and protection of statutes (pp 69-72 of the contingency plan). Accordingly, calls to the international hotline are not able to be made currently.
We will provide a status update in due course.