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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced a delay of approximately one to two weeks to the start of the upcoming tax-filing season, which is a result of the 16-day federal government shutdown. The original start date of when the IRS would begin accepting and processing tax returns was expected to be January 21, however, it now appears that start date will likely be sometime between January 28 and February 4.

Unfortunately, the government shutdown occurred during a peak period in which the IRS systems are being prepared for the 2014 filing season. In addition, during the closure, they received more than 400,000 pieces of correspondence, on top of the 1,000,000 items already being processed before the shutdown. As the IRS works through this back-log, taxpayers are highly encouraged to utilize the automated applications on the official IRS website whenever possible.

The April 15 deadline for individuals is set by statute and will remain in place despite the delay.