The IRS is facing a shutdown due to the Federal Governments inaction on a continuing resolution which would keep government agencies functioning. The National Association of Enrolled Agents, an organization representing approximately 52,000 tax professionals nationwide, released the following statement on their Facebook page today:

“We had a rather lengthy piece in Friday’s E@lert, which links to IRS’ shutdown plans (I’ve attached them here for those of you who need the excruciating detail). At noon PST, it looks fairly likely that IRS will have to use the plan.

Here’s IRS’ explanation on how it will operate: “This Plan is developed for implementation during a lapse in annual appropriations to comply with the requirements of the Anti-Deficiency Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1342. The Act prohibits agencies from obligating funds exceeding, or in advance of, appropriations and from employing personnel during a lapse in appropriations except to protect life or property.”

The high level question is how will tomorrow at IRS look?

Well, it will look much like one of the fulough days from earlier this year: only employees deemed essential (by the definition of the Antideficiency Act, which governs non-appropriated federal operations) will report for work tomorrow.

Only nine percent of IRS employees will report for work. Only a handful in examination, a hundred or so in collection (probably largely to prevent

[collection statute of limitation] troubles). Customer service will be closed, but electronically filed returns should process though we should expect delay. Paper returns should be set aside to process later, though attached payments should be remitted.

You’ll see lots of details in the shutdown plan, which goes into great depth and we’ll continue to keep you posted as we hear any news worth sharing…”

Aaron’s Take: The effect that even a few days of shut down has on the ‘business’ of the IRS will last weeks.  The IRS is already dealing with backlogs and customer service issues.  The IRS will face the wrath of the public due to improper levies and liens without having anyone who can actually correct these issues.  The employees of the IRS do not deserve this, and the taxpaying public does not deserve this. 

edit (10/1/13) – Details on how the shutdown affects the IRS can be found in this Journal of Accountancy Article.