The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) submitted a letter to the Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Congressional leadership requesting the release of the IRS contingency plan that would go into effect in the event of a government shutdown on Oct. 1, 2023.
Additionally, the AICPA has urged the IRS to base any decision to furlough employees on a broader interpretation of the Office of Management and Budget guidance to include not only the government’s safety of human life and protection of property, but also for the taxpayer, thereby exempting IRS employees.
The letter says:
“We believe that tax practitioners, a critical stakeholder and partner with the IRS, should have the opportunity to provide feedback on, as well as prepare for, the IRS’s plan, and possibly advise their clients on potential consequences of a shutdown.”
It goes on to express concern that an October shutdown of the government will likely impact the timely processing of extended 2022 tax returns due by Oct. 16, 2023, tax-exempt organization returns due Nov. 15, 2023, and expatriate tax returns due Dec. 15, 2023, as has happened with previous government shutdowns.
The letter goes on to say:
“We are deeply concerned that a government shutdown with the IRS operating at only a fraction of what is deemed to be its essential workforce would result in a huge strain on taxpayers and practitioners,” says the letter, highlighting the various impacts that a drastically reduced workforce would have on taxpayers and practitioners.”
In closing, the letter says:
“We recognize that processing of tax returns and collection of money is a critical government function that should continue regardless of a government shutdown. Therefore, at a minimum, taxpayers should have recourse to protect their rights and property. The IRS keeping more essential positions working during the shutdown would help make the 2023 extended filing season operate as smoothly as possible and allow for a smooth start to the 2024 filing season.”