Tax Season May Take Longer to Give Expected Relief

Broke businessman showing his empty walletTaxpayers can Expect Significant
Delays from IRS this Filing Season

This tax season, the IRS delayed accepting returns until January 31. Not only is there a delay in accepting returns, but taxpayers could be delayed in getting their refunds or having questions answered as well.The IRS was not restored to pre-sequester spending levels when Congress passed its recent budget. As a result, this agency has been forced to cut thousands of jobs, many of them dealing with customer service. As a result, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen cautioned the public that phone lines would be “extremely busy” and that taxpayers could experience significant wait times.

Gone also are the 10-day waiting periods for receiving tax refunds electronically. This year, filers can expect their refund in around 21 days if it is direct deposited, or in approximately 28 days if requesting a paper check.

The reason for the delay is attributed to the government shutdown, during which the IRS was forced to scale back around 90% of its operations. This meant they were unable to update and test their systems properly before the beginning of the tax filing system.

Citizens can check the status of their tax refund by visiting the IRS website and clicking on “where’s my refund.” A status of “refund approved” means payment is pending, while “refund sent” indicates that money should be received in around five business days.

Although the taxpayers are facing delays in services, there’s one thing that has not been delayed-the filing date. Individuals must still file before the deadline of April 15, 2014 or face significant fines and penalties.

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