U.S. Shutdown Leaves Local Taxpayers Out In The Cold

Oct 2, 2013

Visitors to Broward County's main IRS office are greeted with locked doors and signs referring them to the agency's website.
Credit C. DiMattei

South Florida branches of the Internal Revenue Service are among the agency offices being affected by the current U.S. government shutdown.

And the situation is leaving some local taxpayers angry and frustrated.

Seventy-one-year old Alfonso Valencia of Sunrise said he was summoned by letter to the IRS' Plantation office several days ago to settle a real estate tax matter in person.  

When told that the office is closed until further notice, he took it in stride. Nevertheless, he stomped his foot down on the pavement -- hard.

“That is not democratic," exclaimed Valencia, who is originally from Colombia. "That is Communist.  Communist one-hundred percent.”

Messages plastered on the locked doors of the Plantation office refer visitors to the Internal Revenue Service’s website. Sixty-six-year-old Fran Williams of Lauderhill said the only way she'll make her monthly payment to the IRS is by coming to the office in person. 

“I think that this is really crossing the line," said Williams, "because I’m here to pay the government. I’m not that literate with computer skills. And I’m going to have to wait until the office is open."

Anyone calling South Florida’s IRS offices will get an automated message reminding them that tax payments and filing deadlines remain in effect.

But there IS a bit of good news for some taxpayers. During the government shutdown, the IRS has decided to suspend all audits. They will resume once the shutdown is over.