We are now in the 3rd week of the government shutdown. The agency’s funding ran out at midnight on December 21, 2018.  The IRS is operating under a contingency plan even though 87.5% of its work force is furloughed.  It stated that a significant portion of that furloughed staff will be recalled for tax season.  On January 4, it was reported by Charles Retting that, while returns would be processed, there would be no refunds issued during the shutdown.  This would cause many Americans who count on those refunds a hardship.  The Tax Court closed on December 28 and will remain closed during the shutdown.

The IRS will issue a new contingency plan in the next few days.  In addition, they also announced on Monday evening (January 7) that it will start processing returns on January 28 and will pay tax refunds despite the shutdown.