May 16, 2013

Mandatory Five Day Furlough for the IRS

Budget cuts are forcing the IRS to shut its doors and its phone lines for at least 5 days this year. You may have already noticed a change with longer lines in-office, longer wait times on help lines, and delays in tax refunds.

May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22 and August 30 are the dates that the Internal Revenue Service will be closed–don’t bother calling in or going to an office for assistance.

The IRS has got it rough these days, with rallies against the budget sequestration and the recent scandal of them targeting conservative groups seeking tax exemptions. Some would say that the closings are a well-needed reprieve.

“Due to the current budget situation, including the sequester, all IRS operations will be closed on those days,” the IRS said in a press release. “This means that all IRS offices, including all toll-free hotlines, the Taxpayer Advocate Service and the agency’s nearly 400 taxpayer assistance centers nationwide, will be closed on those days.”

Work for the IRS? You’ll be furloughed without pay on the posted dates, and may be required to take additional furlough days in the future.

They’ve purposely pushed these days so they fell after the April 15th tax deadline, but the break will still affect individuals who’ve yet to file their taxes, or have questions about their tax situation.

Mark the furlough dates between May and August if you think you’ll need to talk to the IRS.

What if my original tax filing or payment deadline falls on a furlough day? The deadline won’t change, but…

  • The IRS will not accept or acknowledge receipts of filed returns on that day.
  • You will have until the next business day to comply with any document requests the IRS requires.

Basic online tools and automated phone services will still be active and usable. These include the IRS Withholding Calculator, EITC Assistant, and Tele-Tax. Where’s My Refund? and the Online Payment Agreement will not be working, however.

A little bit of tax relief does come with the budget cuts though: it doesn’t look like the IRS will be starting any new audits any time soon.