Delayed Filing for 2013
If you’re like most Americans, you know just about how much of a refund you expect to receive from the Internal Revenue Service this upcoming tax season—and you’ve probably already got a few ideas on how to spend it. But this year, those Amazon shopping binges or new car stereos might need to wait a bit longer than in previous years. The IRS announced in October that they likely won’t be able to begin processing returns on time this tax season.
According to Danny Werfel, acting IRS Commissioner, the original date the IRS would begin accepting income tax returns in 2014 was set for January 21. But, thanks to the third-longest US government shutdown in history this October, the IRS is behind on their preparation work for the 2014 tax season. The delay is expected to last one or two weeks, meaning the IRS won’t accept returns until January 28 at the earliest, and possibly as late as February 4. The delay is blamed on the 16-day government shutdown, which almost completely halted all IRS functions, including testing and preparation of the processes and systems needed to handle the large volume of tax returns processed each year. According to Werfel, some one million items were already in-process when the shutdown began, and during the shutdown the IRS received more than 400,000 pieces of wholly new correspondence—correspondence that largely went untouched until the shutdown was resolved. Add the information in-process to the new information, and the testing and preparation for the upcoming tax season, and the IRS has a serious back-log to deal with. For you, this means you can’t submit your return as early as you might like, which means you can also expect a one- to two-week delay in receipt of your refund as well.
The IRS is expected to announce a firm date they’ll begin accepting returns this month, so keep your eyes peeled for that announcement. In the meantime, remember that regardless of what day the IRS chooses to begin accepting returns, your return is still due April 15 unless you file for an extension.