Daily Tax Update - October 22, 2013: IRS Delays Start of 2014 Tax Filing Season Due to Government Shutdown

IRS Delays Start of 2014 Tax Filing Season Due to Government Shutdown:  The IRS announced today that the 2014 tax season would be delayed by “approximately one to two weeks to the start of the 2014 filing season to allow adequate time to program and test tax processing systems.”  According to the announcement, “The IRS would start accepting and processing 2013 individual tax returns no earlier than January 28 and no later than February 4.”  The IRS also said that it is reviewing options to shorten the delay and a final decision is expected to be announced in December.  The IRS added, “The April 15 tax deadline is set by statute and will remain in place.”

The IRS statement said, “About 90 percent of IRS operations were closed during the shutdown, with some major workstreams closed entirely during this period, putting the IRS nearly three weeks behind its tight timetable for being ready to start the 2014 filing season. There are additional training, programming and testing demands on IRS systems this year in order to provide additional refund fraud and identity theft detection and prevention.”

Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said, “Readying our systems to handle the tax season is an intricate, detailed process, and we must take the time to get it right.  The adjustment to the start of the filing season provides us the necessary time to program, test and validate our systems so that we can provide a smooth filing and refund process for the nation’s taxpayers.  We want the public and tax professionals to know about the delay well in advance so they can prepare for a later start of the filing season.”  Werfel added, “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.  We greatly appreciate the patience of taxpayers and the tax professional community during this period.”