We recently explained the persistence of the federal tax law as it applies to the U.S. Tax Court during the government shutdown. The same rule applies to tax filing deadlines. The continuing government shutdown does not affect the federal tax law and all taxpayers should continue to meet their normal tax filing obligations.
The Internal Revenue Service issued a recent press release reminding us that the October 15 deadline remains in effect for taxpayers who requested a six-month extension to file their tax return. As required by law, individuals and businesses should keep filing their tax returns and making deposits with the IRS, even if there might not be anybody there to respond to your call.
October 15 is the last day for most people to file, but some groups still have more time, including members of the military and others serving in Afghanistan or other combat zone locales. These folks typically have 180 days after they leave the combat zone to both file returns and pay any taxes due.
Taxpayers in parts of Colorado affected by flooding, landslides and mudslides, and who already filed for the automatic extension, also have more time – until Dec. 2, 2013 – to file and pay.
Taxpayers can still file their returns electronically using IRS e-file or the Free File system. Payments accompanying paper and e-filed tax returns will be accepted and processed as the IRS receives them. However, if you’re expecting a refund they will have to get back to you. Tax refunds will not be issued until normal government operations resume.
While you must still file, and may file electronically, you will not be able to reach live IRS personnel for assistance on the phones at Taxpayer Assistance Centers. If it’s any consolation, IRS.gov and most automated toll-free telephone applications will remain operational.