Think the 16 day closure of the Federal Government is going to delay the tax season? Yes, but only a little. The Government announced it will open the 2013 tax filing season on January 31st. Only one week later than anticipated.

“Our teams have been working hard throughout the fall to prepare for the upcoming tax season. The late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing and systems validation…”

-IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel

Many anticipated that the Federal Government closure in October would dramatically impact the start of processing tax returns. It will, but only by approximately one week according to a recent announcement from the IRS. Here is what you need to know.

Return Processing Begins: January 31, 2014 (originally scheduled for 1/21/2014). This is one day later than last year. This processing date applies to both e-filed and paper tax returns.

Don’t wait: Tax returns can be prepared and will remain in queue until they can be processed. That means, like last year there will be a bottleneck of tax returns when the IRS starts processing them on the 31st. So if you expect a refund, do not procrastinate to gather your materials. Have your prepared tax return ready to go prior to the 31st.

No missing forms. Last year a number of tax returns using select forms could not be filed immediately. This included certain business tax returns and tax returns using the Adoption Credit. These limitations do not exist this year.

Still April 15th. Despite the fact that the IRS was not working during the government shutdown, the tax due date of April 15th remains unchanged.

Remember, just because the processing of your tax return may be delayed does not mean you should delay the preparation of your return. Send in your tax information as soon as possible. Having your tax return ready when the processing window opens will help ensure the timely filing of your return and help speed up the receipt of any potential refund.

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