WASHINGTON (10/24/13)--The U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday announced the opening of the 2014 tax filing season could be delayed by as much as two weeks to allow adequate time to program and test tax processing systems following the 16-day federal government closure.
The delay could push the original start date of Jan. 21 back as far as Feb. 4. A final starting date for the tax season will be announced in December, and the IRS said it is exploring ways to shorten the potential delay. However, this delay does not necessarily equal good news for late filers: The April 15 tax filing deadline will not be impacted by the delay, the IRS noted.
The IRS explained it is nearly three weeks behind schedule due to the government shutdown.
Many important behind-the-scenes processes, like the programming, testing and deployment of the more than 50 IRS systems needed to process nearly 150 million tax returns begin in the fall, the agency said.
"Readying our systems to handle the tax season is an intricate, detailed process, and we must take the time to get it right," IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said. "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.
"We want the public and tax professionals to know about the delay well in advance so they can prepare for a later start of the filing season."
For the full IRS release, use the resource link.