Still, around four out of every five IRS employees would be furloughed. Dan Tangherlini, an assistant Treasury secretary, reiterated in a blog post that taxpayers should file electronically to avoid potential delays in receiving a refund, and laid out other areas where IRS operations would be affected.
Taxpayers with audit appointments should assume their meeting is canceled, Tangherlini wrote, while walk-in IRS assistance centers would be shuttered and customer service phone lines would not be as easy to reach.
Doug Shulman, the IRS commissioner, also stressed this week that taxpayers should file electronically, whenever possible, and that people still needed to send their taxes in by April 18, this year’s deadline.
Administration officials have said that 800,000 or so federal employees could be furloughed if the government shuts down after Friday, and that they have started to inform staffers about whether they should show up to work if no deal is reached to keep the government open.
Treasury also said Friday that some of its bureaus — like the U.S. Mint — would not be affected by a shutdown because they are funded outside of the annual appropriations process, while other areas, like the special inspector general for TARP, would be able to make do during a short shutdown.
But Treasury’s department offices would also be limited in a variety of ways. Economic analysis and the continuation of debt programs — which includes all efforts on the debt ceiling — would be rolled back, while analysis of global economic issues, among other things, would be halted.