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IRS to taxpayers: Don't file so fast

The agency began processing returns with Schedule A on Feb. 14, but is having trouble keeping up with the flood of electronic returns sent this week.

By Kay Bell Feb 17, 2011 5:56PM

As planned, the IRS on Monday, Feb. 14, began accepting tax returns that had been delayed while the agency got its computer system up to speed with tax law changes enacted in December.


Now, however, the IRS is asking for one more favor from e-filers. Slow down!


The Council for Electronic Revenue Communication Advancement (CERCA), the association founded 15 years ago at IRS request to deal with the electronic filing of tax returns, says that although the IRS is now processing delayed returns -- primarily ones that include Schedule A itemized deductions -- there will be some continued delays in return and refund processing.


To help alleviate these continuing processing issues, the IRS would really, really appreciate it if "private sector transmitters of e-filed returns" (in plain English, that's tax preparers who've been holding onto the returns in anticipation of IRS filing acceptance) would stagger their submission of returns over the course of this week.


Uh, sorry IRS. Your request is probably too late. I've already heard from lots of tax pros who spent Monday punching "enter" on their computer keyboards, happily sending along the ready-to-go returns that had stacked up in their offices.


In a statement, CERCA implicitly acknowledged that the IRS request for e-filers to wait a bit longer is probably for naught. So the agency will take care of things on its own:

Due to the high volume of backlogged IRS returns beginning to be processed this week, the agency is limiting the number of returns it will accept daily to manage their systems capacity and to ensure successful filings of all returns.

Question to tax pros (and individuals who are this week finally e-filing), have you have any e-file attempts rejected?


Slowing refunds, too


This delayed filing rush also is expected to produce a back-up on the other end of the process.


Specifically, notes CERCA, "taxpayers may experience delays in their return processing and in the time it takes to receive their federal tax refunds."


That situation will surely have more folks checking the IRS smartphone refund app.

I'm doing my part. I'm not going to work on, much less file, my personal tax return until sometime in March ... or maybe April ... or perhaps between April 18 and Oct. 17. (The usual extension deadline of Oct. 15 falls on a Saturday this year, pushing the due day to the next Monday.)


As for all y'all who are e-filing this week, here's hoping that the backlog works itself out sooner than expected and that you'll soon have your refunds in hand.


A few more delays


OK, individual returns now are being processed, albeit slowly.


But the IRS has announced that some business tax returns containing "certain business-related forms" would still be delayed "until further notice."


More from Don't Mess with Taxes and MSN Money:



Feb 17, 2011 7:52PM
So if we owed them money, would they be asking us to please slow down the checks coming in? Don't think so....
Feb 18, 2011 3:51AM
hahahahahahahahaha!!! i say screw the IRS!!! they suck and would never *ever* let anyone be one day late with a payment owed. And now they're overwhelmed? Awwww let's call the whaaaaam-bu-lance!! Dial whine-one-one!! I hope they have to work 24/7 and then some, and I hope their offices are flooded with calls and returns so much their heads spin and they dream of tax codes at night. Karma's a bitch you bloodsuckers!!!!
Feb 18, 2011 9:36AM
Taxpayers to the IRS, get up to speed!! We give you more than enough money to over pay your bloated work force.  we have to do things in a timely fashion for you, you knew this was coming, quit slacking.  Better yet, lets just close you down and use a flat tax system, that way you wouldn't have to worry about doing your job.
Feb 18, 2011 9:38AM
Give me a break....the IRS has no problem taking our money and they should be prepared for people filing early especially due to the recession when the money is much needed. The IRS can SUCK IT!
Feb 17, 2011 8:44PM
Wow. this sounds like a personal issue for the IRS. Everyone should contniue to jam up their system. They should have been ready January 1. When tax filing system opens not 6 weeks after the fact. The federal government needs to plan ahead of time. They should not wait till the last week of December to pass tax laws. The cut off for them should be October so they have time to prepare their systems. I do not feel sorry at all for the IRS. They caused this problem themselves let them deal with it. There is no reason they should have been delayed in the first place. Press on tax preparers everyone is broke and for some this little bit of tax money may prevent foreclosures, rent evictions, lights being kept on or food on the table.They knew this was going to happen. As tax preparers we were stock piling the returns and released them all to the IRS at the same time. They have to be the most stupidist people around to even think that this was not going to occur. 6 weeks of back log all unleased in the last few days.
Feb 17, 2011 8:08PM
You have got to be kidding. This is a joke, Right? With all the unbelievable spending that goes on in Washington, they couldn't afford a decent computer. Hmmm. Let me see. Due to my lack of money, I think the IRS will have to wait for my check this please, please understand. Didn't the government add hundreds of new jobs to the IRS because of the new health care bill? Let's use those people to process the returns.....what ya think? I am so tired of this BS and the inefficiency of our government to do anything. They will bail out just about any company that is failing with billions of dollars,but they will find a way to sit on our tax returns. Doesn't it seem odd that this comes at a time when we have Trillion dollar debt. What is the interested earned on the hundreds of millions of dollars that is just sitting and waiting to be returned to the American people. This is pathetic.
If this doesn't tell you AMERICAN'S are broke I don't know what does? Mine will pay my one month late car payment, and three month late condo fee's. Then I will pray, not to go under. But i'm happy illegal aliens have jobs, and the rich got their tax breaks.
Feb 17, 2011 8:10PM
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that if you DO NOT allow the people to file for 6 weeks that this bottle neck would happen.  Why doesn't the government do the right thing and extend our deadline the same six weeks they prevented us from filing.  This probably could have prevented the backlog.  But then our government doesn't file for years, right Mr. Rangel?!?
Feb 17, 2011 9:15PM
So if I owe do I get to wait to send in my check???????past 4/15 with NO PENALTY OR INTEREST!!  I doubt it. Hire more :seasonal workers: to handle this & then lay them off like all the other industries that rec'd bailouts. I have already been to my taxman and files were stacked all over the floor due to the IRS not accepting any return with itemized deductions til yesterday. Send them all as they need to know how it feels to be in the "working class" and actually work for a change. How about staggering shifts so that these federal workers can qork normal hours like the rest of us.
Feb 17, 2011 9:04PM
Taxpayer to IRS, quit taking money you didn't EARN. If you are having problems with paperwork, hire more people. There is a lot of unemployment, I'm sure there is an accountant or 2 that would be happy for 4 months of work.
Feb 18, 2011 12:50AM
Hey, here's a thought - since it's such a problem for the IRS, how about I just don't pay or file taxes at all!!!!!!
Feb 17, 2011 8:06PM
yup they take their time giving returns but when you owe them .20 cents they come after you and threaten you. about time we start doing the taxing
Feb 18, 2011 11:50AM
I think the IRS should pay us a penalty for delaying our refunds. I couldn't care less if they're inSmileundated with returns to process!
Feb 18, 2011 12:07AM
What gets me is the IRS can have their rules etc.. when you owe, but they are getting their way again when the shoe is on the other foot.  They should have prepared for this sooner I think they should be penalized for the delay like us (regular citizen) get penalized when we have to pay back even at a longer time table.  You know that won't happen. they are the government right??    Yeah Right??
Feb 17, 2011 7:57PM
Okay everybody- get out your calendars and let's all coordinate this.  Got it?
Feb 18, 2011 12:18AM

"Someone" -- you do realize it's your own money you are getting back, right?  Why don't you adjust your withholding so you don't have to wait for a big refund?

Feb 18, 2011 2:05PM
Taxpayers to IRS: Eff yourself. Gimme my dam money thieves.
Feb 17, 2011 9:01PM

Much as I think the IRS does things slow and backwards (I work as a CPA), I can't really blame the IRS for this.  The tax forms for 2010 were ready in November, but the tax law changed and the efile computer software had to be updated and debugged.  This only really affects returns with refunds as anyone with common sense would not be filing a return with an amount due until April 15th (18th this year), by which time the backlog will be cleared.  As for when the filing season begins, it really isn't until Feburary 1st as W2s are not required to be sent out by employers until January 31.


Put the blame on this where it belongs:  Congress and Presidents Bush and Obama (one made a mess out of it and the other hasn't fixed it).  Our tax code is broken and is in need of a massive overhaul.

Feb 18, 2011 11:59AM
How can we put a man on the moon when we can't update our systems quick enough to handle the "changes" congress made to the tax laws.  And really what they did was extend the credits that were expiring so it was the same forms from last year, they just needed to say 2010 instead of 2009...and why doesn't our government have any money?

The NSA can monitor 250,000,000 phone conversations at one time and isolate potential terrorists cells and the IRS can not handle a couple of thousand electronic tax forms???

This proves that our government has become dysfunctional and we are wasting tax payer's money on obsolete equipment and people who do not know how to do their jobs.

Take the EPA did they prevent the BP gulf oil spill like they were suppose to??? Those guys were just rubber stamping permits and had never even visited the areas where BP was drilling deep water wells. How can they give an environmental judgment when they have not even seen the site they to this day do not even have any equipment to get that far underwater.

Our government is run by people who do not understand modern science and technology. They are so far out of touch with reality they do not even understand that grocery stores now have scanners to help you check out. 

It is time to shut them all down and start over. Heck China is installing photo cells all over their new cities and will by 2020 cut their oil use in half. We will be increasing ours double during this time frame. We are more backwards than China now.
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