The final deadline for filing personal tax returns is next Tuesday, October 15th. However, the IRS is currently closed due Congress not having -- as yet -- approved a budget for the federal government. So what is a taxpayer supposed to do?
According to the IRS's contingency plan for a shut down (pdf), the IRS is still operating their electronic filing systems. So the IRS is able to receive electronically-filed tax returns, and says that "most of these returns will be processed automatically."
If you are going to mail in your tax return, I would recommend sending it by certified mail with return receipt. This way, you'll have proof that your tax return was mailed out by the deadline.
Tax payments can be sent electronically through EFTPS.gov, which is operating during the shut down. Tax payments can also be mailed, as "the IRS will accept and process all tax returns with payments."
Do expect delays in receiving a federal tax refund. The IRS gets backlogged during peak filing seasons, and the IRS will likely be backlogged more than normal after the shut down ends. While the IRS typically sends out refunds within 21 days of receiving a tax return, refunds won't be sent out until the IRS resumes normal operations.
The IRS's telephone hotlines and local taxpayer service centers are closed.
- IRS Operations During The Lapse In Appropriations (IRS.gov)
- Reminder: Oct. 15 Tax Deadline Remains During Appropriations Lapse (IR-2013-80, IRS.gov)
- Shutdown/Debt Ceiling Standoff - Day 7, Day 6, Day 5, Day 4, Day 3, Day 2, Day 1 all from About US Economy.
- The View From The Trenches: What The Shutdown Has Meant So Far For Taxpayers from Forbes