WICHITA, KS (KWCH/Gray News) - Clint Smith said he’s been on the road as a truck driver for roughly the last decade and was looking for a job that allows him to spend more time with his family.
He said he’s found a job that’ll give him that opportunity, but there’s a snag because of the partial federal government shutdown, now in its 26th day.
When Smith and his wife, Brandi Smith, first heard about the partial government shutdown‚ it wasn’t high on their list of concerns.
"We really didn't know," Smith says.
That changed when Smith said he had an opportunity to work as a contractor, installing cable.
"In order to be an independent contractor, just like it sounds, means I have to be an independent proprietor," Smith says. "They require an EIN (Employer Identification Number) and that's been the issues we've been having is trying to get that."
An EIN is basically a social security number for businesses.
After going through the process of applying on the IRS website, Smith was directed to call an 800 number because his request couldn't be processed online.
A call to the number sent him to a message that IRS telephone services aren't available.
"Professionally, this is my job. This is what I need to support my family, my wife and three kids," Smith says. "I've got to get better income, better hours for what my job skills are."
Until he has the access he needs to get the EIN, he can't move forward with starting the new job that's better for his family.
Smith said he doesn’t have answers and he doesn’t know where to go to get them. What he does know is that the partial government shutdown has moved up on his list of concerns.
“Now that this has arisen, I’m starting to think farther in. ... How is this going to affect my family, my community, the state?” he said.
As things stand, Smith said he figures he’ll have to head back out on the road as a truck driver.
A professional tax preparer said he believes Smith should still be able to get an EIN without having to contact the IRS. However, the IRS was unavailable to verify that information.