Sigh: 2014 Tax Season to be Delayed up to Two Weeks

Just the news that every tax professional wants to hear: The 2014 tax season (2013 tax returns filed next year) will be delayed one to two weeks. It appears the start date for processing will be sometime between January 28th and February 4th (instead of January 21st).

The IRS gives as the reason the government shutdown and I have no doubt they’re correct. In prior years, I remember that all IRS computer systems going down on Columbus Day weekend (which is a federal holiday) to begin updating the IRS computer systems for the next year’s filing season. This didn’t happen this year as the employees who would have done that work weren’t working. So I do think the IRS is behind, and that this is a direct result of the shutdown.

This will be the second straight tax season that begins late. The just concluded tax season began late because Congress didn’t enact needed legislation until January 1, 2013. Unfortunately, there’s a chance that the upcoming tax season could be delayed even further if the government shuts down again. The current funding will run out on January 15, 2014. I don’t expect that to happen…but we’re dealing with Congress and, well, we’ve seen them in action (or is it “in inaction”) before.

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