According to the IRS website on December 18th, the Internal Revenue Service announced plans to open the 2014 filing season on Jan. 31 and encouraged taxpayers to use e-file as the fastest way to receive refunds.
The new opening date for individuals to file their 2013 tax returns
will allow the IRS adequate time to program and test its tax processing
systems. The annual process for updating IRS systems saw significant
delays in October following the 16-day federal government closure.
“Our teams have been working hard throughout the fall to prepare for
the upcoming tax season,” IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said.
“The late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with
our programming, testing and systems validation. It’s a complex process,
and our bottom-line goal is to provide a smooth filing and refund
process for the nation’s taxpayers.”
The government closure meant the IRS had to change the original
opening date from Jan. 21 to Jan. 31, 2014. The 2014 date is one day
later than the 2013 filing season opening, which started on Jan. 30,
2013, following January tax law changes made by Congress on Jan. 1 under
the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). The extensive set of ATRA tax
changes affected many 2012 tax returns, which led to the late January
The IRS noted that several options are available to help taxpayers
prepare for the 2014 tax season and get their refunds as easily as
possible. New year-end tax planning information has been added to
IRS.gov this week.
The October closure came during the peak period for preparing IRS
systems for the 2014 filing season. Programming, testing and deployment
of more than 50 IRS systems is needed to handle processing of nearly 150
million tax returns. Updating these core systems is a complex,
year-round process with the majority of the work beginning in the fall
of each year.
About 90 percent of IRS operations were closed during the shutdown,
with some major work streams closed entirely during this period, putting
the IRS nearly three weeks behind its tight timetable for being ready
to start the 2014 filing season. There are additional training,
programming and testing demands on IRS systems this year in order to
provide additional refund fraud and identity theft detection and