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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

NPR: The IRS Is Shut Down, But the Tax Law Is Never Shut Down

NPR LogoNPR, The IRS Can't Take Your Questions. It Will Take Your Return:

Tuesday, Oct. 15, is the filing deadline for the roughly 12 million Americans who received an extension on their 2012 taxes. And having 90 percent of its staff furloughed in the partial government shutdown doesn't mean the IRS doesn't want your money.

"The IRS is shut down, but the tax law is never shut down," says Joshua Blank, professor of tax practice and faculty director of New York University Law School's Graduate Tax Program.

One of the few things the Internal Revenue Service is actually doing right now is cashing checks — but it's not issuing them. Don't expect a refund until the government reopens. Most of the agency's other functions are also suspended.

"The IRS is not examining any tax returns for deficiencies," Blank says. "It's not conducting audits. The IRS is not answering phones to answer questions from taxpayers."

The same goes for the media. No one answers the IRS's media line, other than a recorded message about the shutdown.

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