IRS Lapsed Appropriations Contingency Plan

Post Date: 1/16/19
Last Updated: 1/16/19


Cross References

On January 15, 2019, the U.S. Treasury updated its Lapsed Appropriations Contingency Plan, as the U.S. government partial shutdown continues. The plan says that the IRS needs to continue return processing activities to the extent necessary to protect government property, which includes tax revenue, and maintain the integrity of the federal tax collection process, along with certain other activities authorized under the Anti-Deficiency Act. The IRS must except additional positions beyond those identified in the Non-Filing Season Plan. In the event the lapse extends beyond five business days, the Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support will direct the IRS Human Capital Officer to reassess ongoing activities and identify necessary adjustments of excepted positions and personnel.

During a lapse, the IRS may continue certain activities that fall under established exceptions in the Anti-Deficiency Act. Employees may be designated as excepted only to perform work directly associated with those activities, and only for time necessary to complete that work. For example, if an employee is needed for three hours per week to safeguard revenue arriving by mail, the employee should be instructed to report to work only for those three hours.

Activities otherwise authorized by law. During a government shutdown, agencies may continue performing activities to the extent such activities are:

1) Supported by funding that does not expire at the end of the fiscal year (such as multi-year and indefinite appropriations), which do not require enactment of annual appropriations legislations,
2) Authorized by statues that expressly permit obligations in advance of appropriations, and
3) Authorized by necessary implication from the specific terms of duties that have been imposed on, or of authorities that have been invested in the agency.

Accordingly, certain agency functions funded through annual appropriations may continue despite a lapse in their appropriations because the lawful continuation of other activities necessarily implies that these functions must continue as well. For example, the government funds Social Security payments out of an indefinite appropriations, and therefore may continue making these payments during a shutdown. Consequently, IRS employees who support this function may continue doing so during a shutdown, even though their salaries come out of annual appropriations.

See printable version for remainder of article.
Return to Tax Industry News
© Tax Materials, Inc. 2021