The Internal Revenue Service delayed the start of the tax-filing season for one to two weeks, citing the recent 16-day federal government shutdown.
The IRS, which had been scheduled to open filing Jan. 21, 2014, will now begin accepting returns for tax year 2013 as early as Jan. 28. The agency will make a final decision on the date in December, according to a statement.
“Readying our systems to handle the tax season is an intricate, detailed process, and we must take the time to get it right,” Danny Werfel, the acting IRS commissioner, said in the statement.
The IRS furloughed more than 90 percent of its employees during the shutdown, which began Oct. 1 and ended after midnight Oct. 17.
At the start of the filing season, the IRS largely issues refunds to taxpayers who file as soon as they can.
Delaying refunds could have an additional consequence in 2014. The U.S. debt limit is suspended through Feb. 7, and changes in the government’s projected spending after that date could affect the timing of how long the Treasury Department’s extraordinary measures to prevent a default will last.
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