The IRS has never before faced even the possibility of the government shutting down during filing season. But that's exactly what they have to consider as the April 8 expiration date for the continuing resolution gets closer and the opposing sides dig in their heels.
Speaking to a House Ways and Means subcommittee, IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman said in the last shutdown - which was in the fall of 1993 - the IRS deposited checks but did not process returns. But this time the shutdown would come just 10 days before the primary filing date. The IRS is discussing options with the General Accounting Office, but the administration has not made any decisions.
Commissioner Shulman also agreed that the Internal Revenue Code must be simplified, and pointed out that a proposed $600 million cut in the IRS budget could cost the government $4 billion in tax revenues.