The government shutdown may be over, but its effects will be felt in next year's tax season. The IRS has announced that it will be delaying the date when it will start accepting tax returns by about two weeks. The 2014 season will start sometime between January 28th and February 4th, a week or two later than its original date of January 21st. The agency says this is because the shutdown — during which about 90 percent of the IRS was inoperational — put its QA operations three weeks behind. "Programming, testing and deployment of more than 50 IRS systems is needed to handle processing of nearly 150 million tax returns," reads the statement. "Updating these core systems is a complex, year-round process with the majority of the work beginning in the fall of each year."
That doesn't mean Americans will be getting a later deadline. The April 15th cutoff is set in stone, so we'll basically just see a shorter filing season and delayed refunds, though it's possible to apply for a six-month extension. Budget deadlock also set the 2013 season back by eight days, as the IRS had to implement last-minute changes passed as part of Congress' agreement. Just like last year, the IRS is urging people not to send paper filings early, since they won't be processed any sooner, and electronic filings remain its method of choice. For now, we'll have to wait until December to find out when the season actually starts.