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IRS offices will be closed Friday, May 24. Plan accordingly

The Internal Revenue Service was able to push off sequestration effects until the main tax-filing season ended, but time has run out.

IRS offices will shut down tomorrow, May 24, in the first of five furlough days scheduled for this summer and early fall.

Closed sign by voteprime via PhotoPin-Flickr
Closed sign by voteprime via photopin cc

So if you're trying to finish up some tax work before you head out for the long Memorial Day weekend, you'd better get to it today.

And judging by the pace of Capitol Hill budget talks, you probably should mark the four other scheduled IRS furlough dates -- June 14, July 5, July 22 and Aug. 30 -- on your calendar, too.

The furloughs mean that all IRS offices, including toll-free hotlines, the Taxpayer Advocate Service and the agency's nearly 400 taxpayer assistance centers nationwide, will be closed. No tax returns will be processed and, says the IRS, no compliance-related activities will take place.

Most online, automated systems remain up: Taxpayers, however, should file their returns and pay any taxes due as usual.

Despite the IRS closures, that will be possible tomorrow and other furlough days if you make payments, such as business employment and excise taxes, via the IRS Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). That online system will be operating as usual.

Some other Web and phone-based IRS tools and automated services also will still work on furlough days. These include the online Withholding Calculator, Order A Transcript, EITC Assistant, Interactive Tax Assistant, the PTIN system for tax professionals, Tele-Tax and the Online Look-up Tool for taxpayers who need to pay the first-time homebuyer credit.

Services not available on furlough days are Where's My Refund? and the Online Payment Agreement.

IRS requests relief: If, however, the IRS has requested documents from you and the deadline it wants the documentation falls on a furlough day, you'll have until the next business day to comply.

This short extension applies to administrative summonses, requests for records in connection with a return examination, review or compliance check or document requests related to a collection matter.

For this first furlough day, for example, if the last day to respond is Friday, May 24, you'll have until Tuesday, May 28, to comply since Monday, May 27, is the Memorial Day federal holiday.

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