Finding Guidance on the Effects of the Shutdown

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As the IRS and Tax Court reopen (at least for about three weeks), readers might be interested in resources to help them.  The IRS has published a short announcement that answers some basic questions, here.   In addition, the ABA Section of Taxation is hosting a webinar on the effects of the shutdown on administrative operations and on Tax Court cases. The 1.5 hour webinar is scheduled for Monday, January 28, 2019 starting at 1 pm EST.  The cost is $10 for Tax Section members and $25 for non-members.  It is free to Low Income Tax Clinic or other pro-bono attorneys.

Topics will include:

  1. How the shutdown affected the Service’s issuance of notices;
  2. The ways taxpayers and representatives should consider reacting and responding to Service correspondence;
  3. The impact of the shutdown on applications for discretionary relief and IRS administrative services;
  4. The Service’s current collection efforts; and
  5. The impact on filings with the United States Tax Court.

You can find more information from the ABA Tax Section website.

Avatar photo About Leslie Book

Professor Book is a Professor of Law at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law.


  1. Judge Gustafson signed an interesting order Monday, January 28, that explains some of what will happen in pending cases. The bottom line is: It’s too early to make plans.

    The case is Palmolive Building Investors, Docket No. 23444-14.

    “This case was scheduled for trial at a special session beginning on January 22, 2019 (see Doc. 109). However, due to a lapse in the funding of the portion of the Government that includes the Tax Court and the Department of the Treasury (including the Internal Revenue Service), we issued an order (Doc. 149) canceling that special trial session, continuing the case, and extending the pending pretrial filing deadlines indefinitely.

    “That Order also instructed that once Government funding was restored, the parties were to consult with each other, and telephone the Chambers Administrator for the undersigned judge to schedule a telephone conference among the parties and the Court for the purpose of scheduling the trial in the case and setting deadlines for pretrial activities. On January 25, 2019, Congress passed and the President signed a continuing resolution that appropriates funding for Government operations. However, the resolution provides funding only for the three weeks ending on February 15, 2019. We cannot now be certain whether this Court’s and Chief Counsel’s operations will continue uninterrupted at the conclusion of those three weeks. Since there is a possibility that Government shutdown might to occur [sic] again, any efforts we now make to set pretrial-filing deadlines and to schedule this case for trial may be premature. We will therefore vacate in part our previously issued Order (Doc. 149), to the extent that it requires the parties to expend efforts to schedule this case for trial. (We nonetheless encourage the parties to work on this case as they believe appropriate.) Once the funding for Government operations is more certain, we will issue an Order pertaining to the scheduling of further proceedings this case.

    “For the foregoing reasons, it is ORDERED that this Court’s Order, dated December 26, 2018 (Doc. 149), is vacated in part, in that the second ordered paragraph is no longer in effect.”

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