Angus King and Colleagues Ask Treasury Secretary Why Taxpayer Advocate Not An Essential Service During The Shutdown

Senators are speaking and raising concerns about the impact of the government shutdown on the tax season, including Maine Senator Angus King. King joined with Debbie Stabenow, Ron Wyden, and 14 other senators to raise these concerns about the impact of the government shutdown on services to taxpayers at the beginning of the first filing season under new tax code. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Munchin, the Senators asked why the Taxpayer Advocate Service was not considered an essential service during the government shutdown and asks if Taxpayer Advocate Service employees will be allowed to return to work to support taxpayers during tax filing season.

“Taxpayers should receive their refunds in a timely manner, but taxpayers should also receive the necessary assistance to ensure that they are filing their taxes correctly and that they have advocates working on their behalf. We therefore request the following:

In the now expired contingency plan, please detail how the Department of Treasury decided that the Taxpayer Advocate Service should not be included in the contingency plan. In the new proposed contingency plan, will this decision stand or will the Taxpayer Advocate Service be asked to return during the filing season?

Please provide a copy of the Department of the Treasury’s plan to assist taxpayers who are facing financial difficulties as a result of problems with filing their taxes or obtaining refunds in the event that a lapse in funding for the IRS continues into tax filing season.” The senators wrote.

The Senators also urged the Treasury Department to provide a plan to assist now financially-burdened taxpayers hurt by the IRS’s funding lapse.