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IRS delays start of 2014 filing season; Administration clarifies individual mandate penalty

Shortly after resuming operations post-government shutdown, the IRS told taxpayers that the start of the 2014 filing season will be delayed by one to two weeks. The delay will largely impact taxpayers who want to file their 2013 returns early in the filing season. At the same time, the White House clarified on social media that no penalty under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate would be imposed during the enrollment period for obtaining coverage through an ACA Marketplace.

Returns and refunds

The 16-day furlough overlapped with the October 15 deadline for taxpayers on extension to file 2012 returns. The IRS reported that during the shutdown it continued as many automated processes as possible, including accepting returns and processing payments. The Free File system also was open during the furlough period. However, refunds were not issued while the IRS was closed. Refunds are now being processed. If you have any questions about a refund or payment, please contact us at 847-267-9600.

Filing season

The IRS had anticipated opening the 2014 filing season on January 21. With a one- to two-week delay, the IRS would start accepting and processing 2013 individual tax returns no earlier than January 28, 2014 and no later than February 4, 2014. The IRS reported it will make a final determination on the start of the 2014 filing season in mid-December.

The IRS must program, test and deploy more than 50 systems to handle processing of nearly 150 million tax returns.

Of course, any taxes owed are still due by April 15, 2014.

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