US 2014 tax-filing season delayed up to 2 weeks: IRS

US 2014 tax-filing season delayed up to 2 weeks: IRS

IRS: 2014 tax season to start late

CNBC’s Eamon Javers reports due to the government shutdown, the IRS will start taking 2013 returns between January 28th and February 4th.

The government shutdown came during a critical period for preparing computer filing systems for 2014, the IRS said.

“Readying our systems to handle the tax season is an intricate, detailed process, and we must take the time to get it right,” said acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel.

The IRS said it will announce in December a final decision on the exact date for the start of the 2014 filing season.

The delay marks the second year in a row that the IRS has been forced to start the filing season late. In January of this year, the 2013 tax season was delayed by the Jan. 2 enactment of tax law changes made to resolve the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

(Read more: Happy birthday, income tax, you’re 100 years old)

A shorter tax season means tax preparation businesses such as H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt Tax Service will have less time to do their work.

These large tax-preparation companies tend to cater to lower-income individuals, many of whom like to file early to get a tax refund as soon as possible.

“The tax preparers have a game plan for how to deal with” the delay, said Gil Luria, an analyst with investment firm Wedbush Securities. He said a two-week delay will not significantly hurt the companies’ earnings.

An estimated 18 million taxpayers typically file a tax return in January, H&R Block spokesman Gene King said. “These taxpayers will be waiting even longer for their refunds,” King said in a statement.

By Reuters

Personal Finance


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