October 23, 2013 in Nation/World

IRS says early tax returns will be slowed by shutdown

Associated Press
 
Billions returned

Federal income tax refunds averaged more than $2,800 this year; in all, the IRS issued more than $228 billion in refunds. Most of that money was issued before March 1.

WASHINGTON – Here’s more fallout from the government’s partial shutdown: Early tax filers will have to wait an extra week or two to get tax refunds next year.

The Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday it will delay the start of next year’s filing season by up to two weeks to give programmers time to finish updating the agency’s computers.

The 16-day shutdown, which ended last week, came at a critical time as the agency was working to update more than 50 systems used to process returns, the IRS said.

The filing season had been set to start Jan. 21. Acting IRS head Danny Werfel said the agency is working to shorten the delay and will announce the exact start date in December.

The April 15 deadline for filing individual tax returns, which is set by law, remains unchanged.

This is the second year in a row the agency will have to push back the date when it starts processing tax returns. This year, the agency delayed filing season until Jan. 30 for most filers because Congress made last-minute changes to the tax law.

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