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Shutdown won't delay IRS tax extension deadline

As news of the federal government shutdown continues to fill the news cycles, many people in Minnesota are probably wondering exactly how this affects them. Federal agencies across the board have been impacted by the shutdown, so the Internal Revenue Service has been stripped down to a fraction of its operating capacity. As such, for those who will be filing taxes based on the Oct. 15 extension deadline might not know what is expected from them.

In the situation that a person or business is unable to meet the traditional tax deadline, applying for a six-month extension is an option. However, as that revised deadline approaches and the shutdown continues, it's important to know that the IRS still expects documents to be filed by Oct. 15.

As individuals are making final preparations, it is critical to keep the deadline in mind. Additionally, electronic tax filings will still be processed, since the IRS computers are still operating. It's just paper documents that won't be handled until after the agency is fully operational again.

Another thing to consider is that audits will not be conducted until further notice. The IRS says that tax audits will be on hold until the entire agency is up and running.

Once the shutdown is over, however, those who were anticipating an audit will have to deal with it again. This indefinite delay, however, shouldn't necessarily be viewed as a reprieve. Once the agency opens its doors, tax officials will likely be eager to pursue alleged improprieties. The important thing to remember, however, is that measures to prepare an audit defense don't have to be delayed.

Source: CNN Money, "The shutdown, the IRS and your taxes," Melanie Hicken, Oct. 5, 2013

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