Impact of partial government shutdown on IRS operations

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Danny Werfel, former acting IRS commissioner and managing director at the Boston Consulting Group details how the shutdown is affecting the Internal Revenue Service on the eve of tax season.


Tax season is almost here, but because of the partial government shutdown, more than 85% of the Internal Revenue Service’s workforce is furloughed. This is a critical time for the agency, and the IRS’s annual operations are being sharply impacted. Danny Werfel, former acting IRS commissioner and managing director at the Boston Consulting Group says that while some tax returns could be processed, other shutdown factors would get in the way.

“If you only have 12 percent of the IRS workforce working and you are expected to process the diverse types of tax returns that are out there, a lot of people will be impacted. That said, the IRS may make a decision,” Werfel said. “This is the critical point. Once you’re in tax filing season, and once these types of disruptions are occurring, a decision could be made by the rolls, bringing employees back to start mitigating the disruption and the impact. Unfortunately, those employees won’t necessarily be paid for their time unless it is decided to give them that back pay.”