Date for 2014 Tax Season Delayed

Due to the 16-day government shutdown last month—October 1st through the 16th—the Internal Revenue service has announced that it will be delaying the start date to the 2014 tax season by one to two weeks. However, the April 15 tax deadline, set by legislative statute, will remain unchanged.

The original 2014 tax season start date was January 21, and though we don’t know the exact length of the delay, their decision is expected to be announced in December. As one might imagine, this decision will effect upwards of 150 million Americans, so if you are a business or an individual, start planning accordingly.

Why the delay, one might ask? The core issue concerns software development and the 400,000 pieces of correspondence the IRS is attempting to catch up with once the government re-opened (about 90% of IRS operations were closed during the shutdown). Just as your anti-virus software needs updating every so often, so too does the complex tax processing systems that the IRS employs to handle the vast amount data that comes with tax season. Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel provided the following rationale: “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.”

Unfortunately, the government shutdown occurred during a crucial time window for IRS software testing and development, in which the 50 tax processing systems get fine-tuned, receive updates, and become more user-friendly. Click on this link to read the IRS press release related to the shutdown.

For any questions on how this extension may affect you or your business, contact Michael J. Agetstein, CPA, PFS, Shareholder and Chair of the Tax Department.

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