Oh, the government shutdown. It was appalling, wasn’t it?
Well be prepared for more chagrin, as the IRS has recently announced that we (and you) won’t be able to file taxes until early February this year! That’s right: February.
The ripple effects of the shutdown are not only being felt by the thousands of Americans who were out of work for those 16 days, but are now going to be felt by millions of taxpayers, too.
When the US government closed its doors for 3 weeks this fall because Congress and the President failed to come to agreements over the budget and the Affordable Care Act, the IRS was one of hundreds of US government agencies affected.
Unfortunately, according to the IRS, the government shutdown couldn’t have come at a worse time.
“The government closure came during the peak period for preparing IRS systems for the 2014 filing season,” the agency said in a statement. “Programming, testing and deployment of more than 50 IRS systems is needed to handle processing of nearly 150 million tax returns.”
With that all that testing and deployment delayed, taxpayers will not be able to file their returns electronically until somewhere between January 28th (at the earliest) and February 4th (at the latest). You can still mail in your tax return in paper format if you wish, though.
And of course, the filing deadline of April 15th remains unchanged, which means tighter timelines for all of us. (We are accepting early gifts of Starbucks gift cards and cases of wine to prepare…)
In recent years, we’ve noticed that the IRS seems to be less and less timely in preparing itself (and us) for tax season. Last year, the IRS wasn’t prepared until the 3rd week of January. This year things look to be more delayed. And the IRS’s delay creates an automatic delay for us. We literally CAN’T file your forms until the IRS’s system is ready to receive them.
We know that can be frustrating to clients, so we’re trying to get the word out. Please share this post with your friends and let them know. And if you haven’t already, please sign up to get our e-newsletter. It’s delightfully unannoying and super informative. 🙂