The IRS is shut down, along with much of the rest of the federal government, but unattended servers running on autopilot are sensing that no progress has been made on taxpayers' attempts to clarify disputed and overdue bills, and so they are initiating asset seizure proceedings.
Even if this turn of events is sufficient to terrorize you into paying a disputed bill, there's no one at the IRS to accept your payment — and of course, if you maintain that the bill isn't correct, there's no one to discuss it with.
The almost Kafka-esque situation, in which the IRS methodically moves forward with cash seizures and taxpayers struggle to find anyone available to stop them, is one of the more unique consequences of the government shutdown, which on Saturday became the largest in American history. The shutdown has hurt small businesses more directly through the halting of Small Business Administration loans. But potentially being whacked in tax disputes, seemingly without recourse, adds a twinge of unfairness into the mix.
Shuttered IRS Is Sending Automated Warnings of Asset Seizures, With Nobody to Call to Stop Them [David Dayen/The Intercept]