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Tax refunds may be delayed by government shutdown

The federal government was shut down for more than two weeks -- and that's about how much longer than usual you'll probably have to wait for your refund next year.

By Money Staff Oct 23, 2013 2:08PM

This post comes from Trey Thoelcke at partner site 24/7 Wall St.


24/7 Wall St. on MSN MoneyIt looks like tax refunds could be delayed by a week or more due to the recent government shutdown. The Internal Revenue Service now says it will not begin processing returns until Jan. 28, at the soonest, possibly not until Feb. 4. The planned start date had been Jan. 21.


Paying taxes © Rubberball Productions/Getty ImagesThat all could be pushed back even further, should budget negotiations break down again by the end of the year, forcing the government to shut down once more.


The IRS says it needs more time to program and to test its tax-processing systems because the government shutdown came during the peak period for preparing those systems for the filing system. The IRS has more than 50 systems to handle processing of nearly 150 million tax returns. Nearly all IRS operations ceased during the shutdown, putting the agency nearly three weeks behind its tight timetable for being ready for filing season.


"Readying our systems to handle the tax season is an intricate, detailed process, and we must take the time to get it right," according to acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel.

However, taxpayers still must file their returns by April 15, and companies still must send W-2 and other tax forms on schedule, generally by Jan. 31.


"In the days ahead, we will continue assessing the impact of the shutdown on IRS operations, and we will do everything we can to work through the backlog and pent-up demand," Werfel also said in the IRS statement. "We greatly appreciate the patience of taxpayers and the tax professional community during this period."


More from 24/7 Wall St.:






Oct 23, 2013 3:22PM
Tax refunds are being delayed but they have no problem collecting my estimated quarterly tax payments.
Oct 23, 2013 3:17PM
Can everyone pay their taxes 2 weeks late?
Oct 23, 2013 3:14PM
they need to work as fast as they did when all the closed goverment signs were printed.  usually takes months to get things printed by the goverment, but next day it was all done. 
Oct 23, 2013 3:05PM
That's a bunch of hog wash.  They can't get it together because of the on going investigation & all their screw ups plus adding Obama care to the mix.  It is getting ready for a huge explosion.
Oct 23, 2013 3:30PM
Obama told his minions to make the shutdown hurt.   What did you expect???
Oct 23, 2013 3:16PM
Pent-up demand?Really?Who the heck demands to do business with the IRS?
Oct 23, 2013 3:33PM
I filed my taxes online during the shutdown and got an almost instant acceptance, faster than ever before.  Less people better service. They may be on to something.
Oct 23, 2013 4:03PM
Why not have those federal employees work free overtime to compensate for their free 2 week vacation?
Oct 23, 2013 4:06PM
Another smart move by the libtard scurnbags!  Repubs better figure out how to stop these pukes from destroying this country - though it is probably too late!
Oct 23, 2013 4:19PM
This is BS, just another Obama administration trick to make it look bad for the Republicans. The people that vote for Democrats get more back than they pay in through the child credits so they don't want to wait longer for their refunds. Next Obama will be telling those who don't want delayed refunds to vote democrat and you will get on time refunds along with your free cell phone, food stamps and welfare checks. You also will not have to be a citizen of the country if you vote Democrat.
Oct 23, 2013 4:26PM
I do not understand why the govt. workers got back pay for work they did not do. That would not  happen in private business. Just a two week paid vacation thanks to Obama and the dems. Bought a few more votes! They just get back and start to threaten tax payers about late refunds! Very effective government service. If they ever shut down again, you may get a notice letting you know that your open heart surgery is going to be a couple of weeks late due to the shutdown!!!!
Oct 23, 2013 4:03PM
the longer they hold our money the more interest they make.  yeah right
Oct 23, 2013 5:07PM
i would think most people wouldn't start submitting for refunds until at least 4 months from now, so not sure why they can't get caught up in that time period.  lazy bums...
Oct 23, 2013 3:08PM

Another warning for the taxpayer:  The IRS has announced that tax filing season for 2013 returns will begin approximately 2 weeks later than normal.



Oct 23, 2013 4:18PM
LMAO....You can bet that is planned!
Oct 23, 2013 4:08PM
Lets see they are going to hold my money 2 extra weeks, ad all the refunds together and I wonder how much $$$$$$ someone or group is going to get stuck in their pocket that we will never hear about, crooks!!!!!!!!!!!
Oct 23, 2013 4:45PM
If they don't extend the April 15 filing date, that should be a crime....
Oct 23, 2013 3:43PM
Will we have to wait for the IRS scofflaw- workers to pay up before turn- around?
Oct 23, 2013 5:11PM
tell ya what, how 'bout we delay paying our taxes until April 21st?  You know that way the IRS will have a chance to get caught up.  It's Ok we don't mind waiting.  This way all those IRS agents that owe back taxes will get to be the first in line to pay them!
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