According to the IRS Newswire, IR-2013-82, the IRS “announced a delay of approximately one to two weeks to the start of the 2014 filing season”.  The 16 day government closure was identified as the reason, with “about 90 percent of IRS operations closed during the shutdown … putting the IRS nearly three weeks behind its tight timetable for being ready to start the 2014 filing season”.  Evidently, according to the IRS release, “programming, testing and deployment of more than 50 IRS systems is needed to handle processing nearly 150 million tax returns”, with the shutdown being responsible for putting the IRS behind on being sure the systems are accurate and ready for the expected demands to be placed on them.  Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Warfel said “readying our systems to handle the tax season is an intricate, detailed process, and we must take the time to get it right”.  It was added that:

  • “the IRS is exploring options to shorten the expected delay and will announce a final decision on the start of the 2014 filing season in December”;
  • that “there is no advantage to filing on paper before the opening date”;
  • and that “taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster using e-file with direct deposit”.

It also added that the “April 15 tax deadline is set by statute and will remain in place”, but reminded taxpayers that “anyone can request an automatic six-month extension to file their tax return” by filing Form 4868 either electronically or on paper.