Shutdown doesn't erase deadline on 6-month tax filing extensions

In our last post we made note of the fact that audits by the Internal Revenue Service would be going into stasis during a government shutdown. What has not been suspended is tax collection, specifically in cases where taxes are collected electronically.

What also has not been suspended is the filing deadline for individuals who sought a six-month extension on filing their federal returns. Shutdown or not, the IRS says it expects taxpayers to fulfill their obligations, including meeting the Oct. 15 deadline on those filing extension requests. There are some exceptions on who must file by the due date, but they are few.

Regardless of how the government funding issues eventually get sorted out, you can be sure that audits will resume. Those facing such pressures would well-advised to consult with an experienced tax attorney to explore options and develop strategies for responding to IRS inquiries.

As for the tax deadline coming up, the IRS confirms that payers can file using paper returns. But it's hoping to entice filers to file electronically, touting that it's faster and more secure. At the same time, the agency hopes payers who owe will also use e-services as well, either online or by phone. Electronic money transfers are more efficient for the collectors in a time of shutdown.

Not surprisingly, the IRS reminds taxpayers who are slated to file by Oct. 15 to hit that mark or plan on paying a late-filing penalty. That's usually about 5 percent per month on any balance owed.

If you hit the deadline, but can't pay the full amount owed, the IRS says interest and penalties will continue to accrue.

Source:, "IRS Shutdown? October 15th Deadline Remains In Effect," Charles Rettig, Oct. 8, 2013

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