The IRS has updated in webpage with information, “IRS Operations During the Lapse in Appropriations.” www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Operations-During-The-Lapse-In-appropriations
Some additional guidance:
- E-filed returns will be processed normally although refunds will not be issued.
- Paper returns can be filed but will not be processed until government operations resume.
- IRS advises that returns will be considered as timely filed if postmarked on or before 10/15/13. To obtain an official postmark bring your return to the post office and ask for a proof of mailing stamp. Mail your return Certified Return Receipt and the post office will stamp your green receipt with the date mailed.
- Postal meter stamps are not always accepted by IRS if the mail is received too long after the postal meter stamp date. Even Certified Mail may sit at the IRS Service Centers for some time before it is stamped as received. If you cannot get to the post office prepare an Affidavit of Mailing certifying that you personally mailed the return on the date stamped by the postal meter by dropping the package in the postal pick up box located at ______________. Such an affidavit can be helpful should IRS assert a late filing penalty although I would hope IRS will be lenient in applying the rules under these unusual circumstances.
- Transcripts: Individuals but not third parties may still obtain transcripts of their tax account with IRS by using the IRS automated process at www.IRS.gov.
THE GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN IMPACT ON OFFSHORE VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURES
- Impact on OVDP submissions – With a large portion of IRS operations suspended, expectantly there will be an impact on pending OVDP cases in that:
- OVDP questions cannot be answered. Call the OVDP hotline number and you will receive a message that the hotline will re-open as soon as possible.
- IRS is not processing intake submissions of names or sending out preliminary acceptance letters. What will happen if a taxpayer submits his or her name for OVDP clearance but while the names submission is sitting unprocessed, the taxpayer’s name is submitted to IRS by a foreign bank, country, flipped banker or lawyer under indictment? Will IRS allow that person into the OVDP?
- Revenue Agents are not being assigned to new OVDP complete-package submissions made by taxpayers after pre-clearance and submission of the initial OVDP letter.
- While IRS states that deadlines remain in effect, I would think that the OVDP either will automatically extend deadlines by the number of days the program was shut-down, as the Tax Court has done with administrative deadlines; or, liberally grant extensions on a case by case basis. But, how IRS will handle deadlines remains unstated.
- All in all, the OVDP process in most cases has been excruciatingly slow; thus, the shut-down will only heighten the suspense already felt by many.
Contact Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire