Refunds for early filers are going to be delayed due to postponement. The Service has been saying that in 2013 filing season, it would not issue refunds as quickly as the past years because of anti-identity-theft controls it’s implementing. The delayed start will only serve to keep money longer out of the hands of early filers.
The April 15 return filing date will not be pushed back due to the late start. IRS says that date is set by law. That’s the same reason that the Oct. 15 due date wasn’t deferred for the 2012 tax returns with valid extensions, even though IRS was closed. Additional funding lapses would play havoc with the filing season.
Currently, the agency funded through Jan. 15, 2014, the due date for paying estimated taxes for the fourth quarter. If Congress can’t agree on a government funding bill by then and another shutdown stretches into the filing season, processing of paper returns would be delayed and the Service wouldn’t issue refunds on e-filed or paper returns. Right now, we don’t think there will be a repeat in 2014 of the federal shutdown.
If you mailed correspondence to IRS during the shutdown, good luck. The Service was swamped with inquiries. While the agency was closes, taxpayers sent in 400,000 letters, on top of 1 million items already being processed. Those letters, many of them responses to bills for extra taxes due, sat unopened during the shutdown. It will be a long time before IRS gets a handle on things. Thus, it’s likely that taxpayers who sent in documentation will keep getting notices from the IRS.