On Tuesday, October 22, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service announced that the 2014 tax season for filing 2013 tax returns will be delayed one to two weeks due to the recent federal government shutdown. In December, the IRS will provide a specific date to the start of the 2014 tax season.
The impact of this delay is that some filers who file early will have to wait to have their tax returns accepted and processed by the IRS. This means that tax refunds will be delayed to these early filers. The IRS will not process paper tax returns or e-filed tax returns until the tax season begins.
The federal government shutdown lasted 16 days, and now the IRS has to play catch-up on the work that was not completed during the shutdown. The reporting systems the IRS uses to process the 150+ million tax returns it receives would have been partially programmed and tested during the government shutdown.
This should not discourage you from preparing your returns early since this delay will have no impact on the April 15 deadline to file your 2013 individual income tax returns.