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US 2014 Tax Season to Open January 31

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

20 December 2013

The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that it plans to open the 2014 tax filing season on January 31, a delay of ten days from the original opening date of January 21.

The IRS had previously disclosed that there would be a delay of approximately one to two weeks to the start of the 2014 filing season following October's 16-day federal government closure, which, it was said, had come during the peak period for preparing IRS tax processing systems.

It has now been confirmed that the new opening date for individuals to file their 2013 tax returns will allow the IRS adequate time to program and test its processes, with more than 50 IRS systems is needed to handle processing of the nearly 150m tax returns. IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said that "the late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing and systems validation."

The 2014 opening date is one day later than the 2013 filing season opening, which started on January 30, 2013, following a delay due to tax law changes made by Congress on January 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 opening.

"Our bottom-line goal is to provide a smooth filing and refund process for the nation's taxpayers." Werfel added, with the IRS noting that several options are available to help taxpayers prepare for the 2014 tax season and get their refunds as easily as possible.

The IRS cautioned that it will not process any tax returns before January 31, so there is no advantage to filing on paper before the opening date, and stressed that taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster by using e-file or Free File with the direct deposit option. Many software companies are expected to begin accepting tax returns in January and hold those returns until the IRS systems open on January 31.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | tax | tax compliance | Internal Revenue Service (IRS) | tax authority | United States | individual income tax | Tax

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