Due to the recent government shutdown, the IRS has announced that there will be a one to two week delay in the start of the 2014 filing season as a result of this shutdown. The delay will allow the IRS to prepare and test systems. Originally the date for return filing was scheduled for January 21, 2014, but the IRS has stated that it will now start accepting 2013 individual tax returns no earlier than January 28 and no later than February 4, 2014.
The shutdown came at a time when the IRS typically begins most of it work in programming, testing and deploying its return processing systems. A spokesperson for the IRS explained that the delay in filing allows them the time necessary to program, test and validate their systems so that they can provide a smooth filing and refund process. The IRS made it a top priority to announce the delay in filing well in advance so the public can prepare for a later start to the filing season.
It should be noted that paper returns will not be processed before the IRS begins accepting electronic filings. The IRS also stated that the April 15, 2014 return filing and payment deadline is still in place as this is statutory and can not be changed by the IRS.
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