House Votes to Fund Government, Including IRS, But Shutdown Likely to Remain

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jan 4, 2019

The House of Representatives, now with a Democratic majority, approved a series of spending bills to reopen the government, including the IRS, but the shutdown is likely to remain, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. has said that he would not call for a vote on any proposal that doesn’t have “a real chance” of passing and getting a presidential signature. The White House has vowed to veto any  bill that came to the president without funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to USA Today.

Until a funding measure is passed into law, the IRS will be operating on a shutdown contingency plan it released to the public early last month, which reduces the number of employees authorized to work to 12.5 percent of its normal 79,868 person staff. These employees include those compensated through avenues other than the annual appropriations; those whose work is necessarily implied by law; those engaged in the protection of life and property, such as law enforcement activities; and employees performing shutdown activities, a very small number who will be working half days. 

All other employees will be furloughed. This means that, during a shutdown, the IRS will not have workers responsible for, among other things, issuing refunds, processing 1040X amended returns, performing audits, or performing taxpayer services. 

CNN said that as the filing season formally begins, the IRS intends to issue a new contingency plan accounting for the changed conditions. Such a plan could be released as early as today. 

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