Impact of federal shutdown hits Bay Area

October 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Confusion persists in the second day of the federal government shutdown. In the Bay Area, the impact is being felt by taxpayers and even job-hunters.

At a job fair at Santa Clara University, there were 160 employers looking to recruit new workers, but three were noticeably missing because of the shutdown -- the Centers for Disease Control, the CIA, and NASA.

The latest federal job report due this friday is not likely to be issued.

And even taxpayers are feeling distress.

Certified Public Accountant Tom Duffy received a notice that the IRS is going to seize one of his client's bank accounts, even though Duffy resolved the issue three months ago.

"It's possible that the taxpayer's account would be seized for the balance that the IRS thinks is due, which would be an improper seizure of assets, but we're unable to reach the government because they're closed," Duffy said.

The IRS falls under the Treasury Department, where 50 percent of its employees have been furloughed by the shutdown.

Among the 50 percent working are staff at Social Security, which will continue to issue benefit checks.

"I'm not feeling it at all," San Jose resident Dick Knowdell said. "I get Social Security, and I think that'll be coming to my bank. I don't know yet, but I think it will be."

At San Jose's federal building, two attorneys involved in a patent infringement case were waiting outside while the jury deliberates inside. The court is operating with limited staffing. But some systems are down, impacting other cases.

"We had a big brief that was due yesterday," attorney James Otteson said. "We tried to file it electronically, and the system wouldn't even let us do it. So, I imagine we're getting an extension."

Tania Azevedo's mother is applying to be a citizen.

"It's very confusing," Azevedo said. "We had an appointment, and we had to call ahead to find out if it was open, and they were, which is good."

However, the shutdown might be good in rare cases, such as an IRS audit.

"I supposed that someone might be happy that they will not be audited by the IRS because the revenue agents, I imagine, are playing golf today," Duffy said.


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