U.S. Government Websites
For the first time in 17 years, the US government has been shut down. The closing of the government happened after congress could not agree on a new budget. There are, of course, other sides to that story, but that's what's happening in a nutshell.
With the government shutdown comes a number of government websites that are running but are not online – and then there's another crop of sites that are not online at all. Some websites have been completely taken offline, though that was mostly the decision of the organizations behind the sites.
U.S. Government Websites: Sites Shut Down
The various websites that are no longer active include the NASA website, the Parks and Service websites, and a number of other websites that list current statistics and other basic details that some researchers might want to know about.
The Amber Alert website was restored on Monday, and the Justice Department site was up and running once again early this week. What about all the other websites? The government is expected to reconvene within a few weeks, and sites will be back to running at that time. But, why are government websites being shut down at all?
What Happens When Sites Are Shuttered
In the case of the U.S. Government, it's not that the government has pulled sites offline or stopped paying hosting bills. It's more that there's nobody around to man phones or run the site. Without any employees actually working at government departments, sites can't run. It's just that simple. But, there are some government websites that are still up and running.
Like, the IRS, for example.
IRS Site Still Functional
Just in case you asked for a six-month extension on your tax filing, you should know that the IRS website is still functional. Nobody is around to take a phone call or to answer a question, but the e-filing system is still in place. That means that you still have to file your taxes online. What? That's right. The IRS website is still up and running, so no tax breaks!
When the government does start operating again, your taxes will have to be submitted – that October 15th deadline is still in place. Did you think that the government would actually let taxes slide? Not a chance! What do you do if you have a question or need help? Well, you're on your own there. But, your taxes still have to be filed.
When will the madness end? It's clear that the Internet is a far bigger part of the government than most people thought, right? If you have to file your taxes, what will you do when it comes to asking for help? I'd love to hear what your comments are below!