WASHINGTON (AP) - Here’s more fallout from the government’s partial
shutdown: Early tax filers will have to wait an extra week or two to get tax
refunds next year.
The Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday it will delay the start of next
year’s filing season by up to two weeks to give programmers time to finish
updating the agency’s computers.
The 16-day shutdown, which ended last week, came at a critical time as the
agency was working to update more than 50 systems used to process returns,
the IRS said in a statement.
The filing season had been set to start Jan. 21. Acting IRS head Danny
Werfel said the agency is working to shorten the delay and will announce the
exact start date in December.
The delay will affect early filers, many of whom rush their returns to the
IRS so they can get refunds quickly.
The April 15 deadline for filing individual tax returns, which is set by
law, remains unchanged.
This is the second year in a row the agency will have to push back the date
when it starts processing tax returns. This year, the agency delayed filing
season until Jan. 30 for most filers because Congress made last-minute
changes to the tax law. Federal income tax refunds averaged more than $2,800
this year. The IRS issued more than $228 billion in refunds this year. Most
of that money was issued before March 1.