Daily Tax Update - October 1, 2013: President Obama to Republicans: "Move On"

President Obama to Republicans "Move On":  As the federal government shut down today for the first time in 17 years, Congressional Democrats and Republicans continue to blame the other for the impasse.  President Obama said that Congressional Republicans should "move on" from opposition to the Affordable Care Act and pass a bill to keep the government funded.  In remarks today, the President urged Congress to "stop governing by crisis" and said it is "not worthy of this country."  The President added, “This shutdown is not about deficits.  It's not about budgets.  This shutdown is about rolling back our efforts to provide health insurance to folks who don't have it.  It's all about rolling back the Affordable Care Act. . . .  This, more than anything else, seems to be what the Republican Party stands for these days.  I know it's strange that one party would make keeping people uninsured the centerpiece of their agenda, but that apparently is what it is."  The President said, “They've shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans.  In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job."

Earlier today, the Senate rejected a House bill proposing a conference on a government funding bill.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “The government is closed.  All over America, federal employees are getting furloughs this morning . . . because of the irrationality that is going on in the other side of the Capitol.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor countered, “Clearly, the Senate has demonstrated that it is not willing to engage in the legislative process.  And that is why the House and the Speaker took the position of appointing conferees, so we can actually get down to business and talk through our differences.”  Cantor added, “There are a lot of areas that we do have agreement.  But again, I point to you and note that this table is empty on the other side.  And we need the Senate Democrats to come join us.”

This afternoon, House Republicans are working on a plan to open portions of the Federal government, including the National Park Service, part of the Department of Veterans Affairs and operations for the District of Columbia. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that a piecemeal approach on government funding was “not serious.”   Carney said, “If we want to open the government, they should open the government.”

"IRS Operations are Limited":  In a statement today, the IRS said, “Due to the current lapse in appropriations, IRS operations are limited.  However, the underlying tax law remains in effect, and all taxpayers should continue to meet their tax obligations as normal. Individuals and businesses should keep filing their tax returns and making deposits with the IRS, as they are required to do so by law.  The IRS will accept and process all tax returns with payments, but will be unable to issue refunds during this time. Taxpayers are urged to file electronically, because most of these returns will be processed automatically.”  The statement added, “No live telephone customer service assistance will be available, however most automated toll-free telephone applications will remain operational.  IRS walk-in taxpayer assistance centers will be closed.  While the government is closed, people with appointments related to examinations (audits), collection, Appeals or Taxpayer Advocate cases should assume their meetings are cancelled.  IRS personnel will reschedule those meetings at a later date.  Automated IRS notices will continue to be mailed.  The IRS will not be working any paper correspondence during this period.”  The IRS statement added, “Individuals who requested an extension of time to file should file their returns by Oct. 15, 2013.  All other tax deadlines remain in effect, including those covering individuals, corporations, partnerships and employers.  The regular payroll tax deadlines remain in effect as well.”