October 23rd, 2013 IRS Announces Possible Delay in 2014 Tax Return Processing As a result of the 16-day federal government shutdown, a one to two week delay to the 2014 tax filing season may be needed to allow for adequate time to program and test processing systems. The closure could also delay tax refunds for millions of early filers by one or two weeks. If the government closes again in January, refunds could be tied up even longer. Tax return processing is normally scheduled to begin January 21st, but the IRS states that it will start accepting and processing 2013 individual returns no earlier than January 28th and no later than February 4th. With about 90% of the IRS operations closed during the shutdown, the agency fell about three weeks behind in preparation, with many tax changes and updates still needed to be made. This includes the 3.8% net investment income tax requested by the Affordable Care Act. Taxpayers must still file a return by April 15th, and companies must still send W-2 and other tax forms on schedule, as well adhere to the same deadlines to get information to employees and investors. A final decision is expected in December, as the IRS is exploring options for shortening the delay.