The IRS announced it will need to delay the beginning of the 2014 tax season approximately one to two weeks. This means the IRS will begin processing tax returns after Jan. 28, 2014, or Feb. 4, 2014, instead of the originally projected Jan. 21, 2014. The official filing start date will be announced in December. However, this delay doesn't change the April 15, 2014, deadline.
The delay is due to the government shutdown, which happened to effect the organization during the busiest prepping period of the year. The IRS tests and prepares more than 50 core systems which will handle processing the nearly 150 million tax returns expected in 2014. This complex process takes place all year, with the majority of the work beginning in the fall.
About 90 percent of the IRS operations were closed during the shutdown and some major workstreams were closed entirely, which means the IRS is nearly three weeks behind its tight timetable before the 2014 filing season. There are additional training, programming, and testing demands on the IRS systems in order to provide additional refund fraud and identity theft detection and prevention.