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IRS Delays Tax Filing Season

November 26
15:53 2013

taxman_smallAfter the government shut down, the decision was made to delay, by a week or two, the start of the 2014 tax filing season, and there is still no word from the Internal Revenue Service as to when they might be accepting returns in the new year.

Because of the government closure, the IRS needs extra time to program and test tax processing systems. The IRS is exploring options to shorten the expected delay and is expected to make an announcement in December. 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.

The government closure came during the peak period for preparing IRS systems for the 2014 filing season. Programming, testing and deployment of more than 50 IRS systems is needed to handle processing of nearly 150 million tax returns. Updating these core systems is a complex, year-round process with the majority of the work beginning in the fall of each year.

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. The April 15 tax deadline is set by statute and will remain in place.

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