Just in time for tax season, the IRS is calling furloughed workers back to the office.
The federal agency sent out its updated contingency plan on Tuesday, amid the partial government shutdown that has gone on for more than three weeks.
More than 46,000 IRS employees will return to work. This represents about 57 percent of the agency’s total workforce. The IRS has been subject to a furlough since Dec. 22.
The tax filing season is set to kick off on Jan. 28, and the IRS said it will provide refunds to eligible filers. However, the agency is operating with a reduced workforce, and its operations will be limited.
For instance, there’s no live customer service via phone right now, but the agency will add workers to take your calls in the coming days, the IRS said. You should expect longer wait times.
Further, Taxpayer Assistance Centers — locations where you can seek help from the IRS in person — are closed. That makes things complicated for individuals who need to visit an IRS office to establish their identity in the event of identity theft.