For the second year in a row, American taxpayers were faced with a delay for filing their tax returns.
Last year the delay was due to the last-minute resolution to the fiscal cliff. This year taxpayers were told they couldn’t file until Friday, Jan. 31.
Normally taxpayers have been used to Jan. 21 as the day they could begin filing their taxes, but the Internal Revenue Service said they needed the extra 10 days to allow for possible tweaking and testing of its processes.
The IRS is expecting about 150 million tax returns to be filed this year to file with 50 IRS systems processing them. ,
“The late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing and systems validation,”IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said.
And while some may think early filers would be impatient with the 10-day filing delay, local taxpayers are actually taking things in stride.
Renee Rodriguez is a local tax preparer and manager of Western Finance and she said her clients don’t seem to mind the delay.
“I haven’t had one person disappointed yet,” she said.
She said filers have been trickling in since the beginning of January and that things have been running smoothly and she was pleasantly surprised.
One of the reasons Renee thought things might be a little more difficult was because of issues with the Affordable Care Act. She said the IRS isn’t really requesting any information on healthcare except to ask if filers have insurance or not.
Renee said other issues concerning the healthcare law could come into play next year.
“I thought tax season would be a lot harder because of Obamacare, but it has actually been easier,” she said.
Irma Rodriguez is a manager and tax preparer at Continental Credit and said she hasn’t seenn any real changes to be concerned with this year in the tax code, nor has she seen anything critical with tax returns regarding the Affordable Care Act.
She said the main thing to remember this year is to make sure to bring all pertinent information including Social Security cards for all members of the household.
This year the IRS is encouraging filers to e-file as well as consider direct deposit to expedite refunds.
Many taxpayers can qualify to e-file for free by using the IRS FreeFile system. For assistance call IRS (1.800.829.1040).
On average, refunds are being issued within about 10 days after the return is accepted, but can take up to 21 days.
To check the status of the refund taxpayers can check the status by clicking on the You can check your refund status online using the “Where’s My Refund?” tab at www.irs.gov. The IRS is requesting filers only check their status once a day.
The filing for this year is still April 15.