Tuesday, October 22, 2013

2014 Tax Season to Start Later Following Government Closure; IRS Sees Heavy Demand As Operations Resume

WASHINGTON–The Internal Revenue Service today announced a delay of approximately one to two weeks to the start of the 2014 filing season to allow adequate time to program and test tax processing systems following the 16-day federal government closure.

The IRS is exploring options to shorten the expected delay and will announce a final decision on the start of the 2014 filing season in December, Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said. The original start date of the 2014 filing season was Jan. 21, and with a one- to two-week delay, the IRS would start accepting and processing 2013 individual tax returns no earlier than Jan. 28 and no later than Feb. 4.

The government closure came during the peak period for preparing IRS systems for the 2014 filing season. Programming, testing and deployment of more than 50 IRS systems is needed to handle processing of nearly 150 million tax returns. Updating these core systems is a complex, year-round process with the majority of the work beginning in the fall of each year.

About 90 percent of IRS operations were closed during the shutdown, with some major work streams closed entirely during this period, putting the IRS nearly three weeks behind its tight timetable for being ready to start the 2014 filing season. There are additional training, programming and testing demands on IRS

Thursday, October 17, 2013

US Government Opens After Congress Ends Its 16-day Shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government reopened its doors Thursday after a battle-weary Congress approved a bipartisan measure to end a 16-day partial shutdown and avert the possibility of an economy-jarring default on U.S. obligations.

Early Thursday, President Barack Obama signed the measure, which the House and Senate passed late Wednesday, ending a brawl with Republicans who tried to use the must-pass legislation to mount a last-ditch effort to derail the president's landmark health care law and demand concessions on the budget.

The White House directed all agencies to reopen promptly and in an orderly fashion. Furloughed federal employees across the country are expected to return to work Thursday.

The impasse had shuttered national parks and monuments, and mostly closed down NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department. Critical functions of government went on as usual and most federal employees won't see their paychecks delayed, but the closure and potential default weighed on the economy and spooked the financial markets.

There were signs early Thursday that the federal government was slowly coming back to life. "We're back from the (hash)shutdown!" the Smithsonian Institution crowed on Twitter, announcing that museums would reopen Thursday and the National Zoo in Washington on Friday.

Standard & Poor's estimated the shutdown has taken $24 billion out of the economy, and the Fitch credit

Monday, October 14, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shutdown Doesn't Mean You Get a Break on October 15th Tax Return Deadline

If you filed for a federal tax extension last April, you’ll still need to send in your return by Oct. 15, despite the government shutdown.

And millions of you had better get busy. According to the IRS, as of the last week of September, many of the 12 million taxpayers who sought extensions had yet to file. (Of course, you needed to pay at least 90 percent of your estimated tax back in April to avoid any penalties.)

If you have questions about federal forms, or need help with last-minute calculations, don’t look to a live IRS tax expert for advice during the shutdown. Customer service agents have been furloughed, and walk-in taxpayer assistance centers are closed. However, you may be able to find answers to your questions on the IRS automated phone system at 800-829-1040 or on its website. You can also give us a call here at NFS toll free at 800-560-4637.