IRS Workers are Protesting the Shutdown – What Does This Mean for Taxpayers?

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Last week, IRS workers staged a public protest in Fresno, California to demand an end to the government shutdown, which is now the longest in U.S. history. The local IRS office in Fresno typically employs 5200 people, the majority of which have been out of work since the shutdown began. According to local news sources, one of the protestors described her mood as “livid.”

Similar protests by IRS workers have been reported in Covington, KY and in Ogden, UT. Some workers have reportedly filed for unemployment and visited local food banks for assistance.

While the recent announcement that the IRS will process tax refunds will relieve some taxpayers, it comes as little comfort to the furloughed workers, many of whom are now being recalled without pay, and some of whom will suffer even more, forced to pay out of pocket for long commutes in the meantime.

What It Means for Taxpayers

How will the plight of furloughed IRS workers affect the average taxpayer? If the recent government efforts to resume tax processing go as planned, theoretically taxpayers should experience little to no difference in the processing of refunds. However, other major functions of the IRS remain halted during the shutdown, including taxpayer assistance—so those with pressing questions about filing their returns will have to wait till the government reopens or find other solutions on their own. In addition, with tax season already slightly delayed and only about half of the workforce being recalled—again, without pay—taxpayers should still be prepared for unplanned or unexpected delays in the process.

If you have been facing tax problems either before or during the government shutdown, the experts at the Highland Tax Group are still available to help. Give us a call at 720-398-6088 to schedule an appointment.