WASHINGTON–The Internal Revenue Service today announced a delay of approximately one to two weeks to the start of the 2014 filing season to allow adequate time to program and test tax processing systems following the 16-day federal government closure.
According to the IRS:
“The IRS is exploring options to shorten the expected delay and will announce a final decision on the start of the 2014 filing season in December, Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said. The original start date of the 2014 filing season was Jan. 21, and with a one- to two-week delay, the IRS would start accepting and processing 2013 individual tax returns no earlier than Jan. 28 and no later than Feb. 4.”
What does this really mean for you, the Taxpayer?
- Tax Season filing will begin later, even later than this past year, meaning refunds will be delayed.
- There may be more errors in the IRS’s systems than before because of the delay and the additional time that it is causing in programming, testing, and deployment of the software that the IRS uses to handle the processing of the nearly 150 million returns that are filed each year.
- The IRS will not be able to process paper returns before the start date! This means that those of you who still paper file will need to wait even longer (NOTE: E-filing almost always provides faster refund returns)
- Unfortunately this does NOT buy you any more time, the April 15th deadline is set by statute and will remaining in place.
- The IRS is seeing heavy demand on customer service telephone lines, walk-in sites and other taxpayer services.
“The IRS encourages taxpayers to wait to call or visit if their issue is not urgent, and to continue to use automated applications on IRS.gov whenever possible.
“In the days ahead, we will continue assessing the impact of the shutdown on IRS operations, and we will do everything we can to work through the backlog and pent-up demand,” Werfel said. “We greatly appreciate the patience of taxpayers and the tax professional community during this period.””