Are you expecting a tax refund and want to file early to get it? Unfortunately, due to the government shutdown last October, the 2014 tax filing season will not open until January 31, 2014. The IRS explained that the closure occurred during the peak period for preparing IRS systems for the 2014 filing season. Since about 90 percent of IRS operations were closed during the shutdown, with some major work streams closed entirely during this period, it put the IRS nearly three weeks behind its timetable for being ready to start the 2014 filing season. The IRS indicated that 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 prevention.
The IRS cautioned that it will not process any tax returns before Jan. 31st, so there is no advantage to filing on paper before the opening date. E-filing is a much more efficient and faster way to file your tax return.
However, the good news is that once you have received all of your tax documents (e.g. W-2’s, 1099’s, etc.) you can bring all of your information to your tax preparer so that your return can be processed internally and be ready to go on the e-filing date of January 31st. I have attached a tax organizer that will be helpful in organizing your tax documents and may help you think of deductions that you might have overlooked.
Even though there’s a delay in the e-filing processing date, the April 15th tax deadline is still in force since that date is set by statute. If taxpayers need additional time to file their tax returns, they can request an automatic six-month extension to file, thus deferring the tax due date to October 15th for individuals. But taxpayers should pay any taxes due by April 15th so that they won’t be subject to penalties and interest. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at 479.966.4277 if you have any questions or need assistance with your tax filing needs.