IRS delays start of tax season

The government shutdown is over, but its effects may reach far into next year, at least in the area of tax collection. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that due to a backlog of work that the agency must deal with, it will not accept any personal income tax returns until sometime after January 28, 2014.

“Readying our systems to handle the tax season is an intricate, detailed process, and we must take the time to get it right,” said Daniel Werfel, the acting IRS commissioner, in a statement. “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.”

During the 16-day shutdown, the IRS said that it received over 400,000 pieces of correspondence and had over one million inquiries that were in the process of being resolved before it had to furlough the vast majority of its employees.

This 2014 filing season will be the second year in a row in which taxpayers will have to wait to send their financial information to the federal government. At the beginning of this year, Congress passed a last-minute measure that changed tax rates, and the IRS delayed the start of filing season to January 22. Individuals who filed paper returns had to wait even longer.

According to the agency’s statement, the IRS will announce an exact date of when it will accept tax returns sometime in December. It also noted that despite the delay, taxpayers are still expected to submit their information by April 15, 2014.

If you are unsure of how this delay will affect your tax liability, contact the experienced tax attorneys at Moskowitz LLP today.