IRS NEWS RELEASE – January 31, 2014 will begin the 2013 tax filing season.

IR-2013-100, Dec. 18, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced plans to open the 2014 filing season on Jan. 31 and encouraged taxpayers to use e-file or Free File as the fastest way to receive refunds.

The new opening date for individuals to file their 2013 tax returns will allow the IRS adequate time to program and test its tax processing systems. The annual process for updating IRS systems saw significant delays in October following the 16-day federal government closure.

“Our teams have been working hard throughout the fall to prepare for the upcoming tax season,” IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said. “The late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing and systems validation. It’s a complex process, and our bottom-line goal is to provide a smooth filing and refund process for the nation’s taxpayers.”

The government closure meant the IRS had … Read More

IRS Aims to Make FSA more Flexible

If you have ever found yourself frantically digging through old receipts in an attempt to claim the remaining dollars in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) before the end of the year—or worse, realizing with dismay on January 1st that you still had money in the account—you know how frustrating the IRS’ “Use or Lose” rule for FSAs has been in the past.

That’s right—in the past. Last month the IRS announced a few changes in this rule, which gives employers the opportunity to take some of the stress out of their employees’ end-of-year spending. Got some extra cash sitting in that FSA on December 31st? No problem—the new rule says you may be able to roll it over to next year.

This is good news for the 33 million Americans who use FSAs to funnel pre-tax dollars toward healthcare expenses, including those that might otherwise not … Read More

IRS Announces Late Start to Tax Season

The effects of the recent government shutdown are beginning to appear in various federal offices, including the Internal Revenue Service.

The IRS announced last week that the 2014 tax season, which was scheduled to begin on January 21, will be delayed by at least a week. The service will not be accepting or processing individual returns until at least January 28—though that date could be pushed back as far as February 4.

The delay may affect you as a taxpayer in two main ways—you won’t be able to file your return until possibly the beginning of February, and any communication you tried to make with the IRS during or immediately prior to the shutdown will receive a delayed response.

Nearly 90% of the IRS was closed during the shutdown, creating a 16-day delay that resulted in missed appointments, delayed implementation of installment plans, and a significant backlog of work that will … Read More