by Christopher Freeburn | October 23, 2013 3:20 pm
People who file their taxes early will feel some of the lingering effects of the recent U.S. government shutdown.
On Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said that, due to disruptions resulting from the shutdown, it will not begin processing tax returns until Jan. 28, at the earliest, about a week later than usual. The agency indicated that return processing might be delayed even further, until Feb. 4. That would mean that early filers would have to wait longer to get any tax refunds, USA TODAY notes.
Tax-processing systems have to be updated and tested to handle 2014 returns, the agency said. The shutdown occurred during he period during which the IRS usual readies itself to handle tax returns. The agency processes almost 150 million returns every year.
The IRS also signaled that those delays would be extended if the government shuts down again over budget squabbles among lawmakers in January.
While the government will be late in processing returns, taxpayers still have to file their returns on time. The April 15 tax deadline remains in effect.
About 18 million people file their annual tax returns in January.
Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., ended the government shutdown last week, but not before effects began to spill across the economy.
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