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Like last year, the IRS is delaying the start of tax season. Unlike last year, the reason for the delay is the government shutdown:
Tax filing season will start one to two weeks late because of the 16-day government shutdown, the Internal Revenue Service announced Tuesday. The IRS says it needs the extra time to program and test tax processing systems. “The government closure came during the peak period for preparing IRS systems for the 2014 filing season,” the IRS said in a release. “Programming, testing and deployment of more than 50 IRS systems is needed to handle processing of nearly 150 million tax returns.”
The government shutdown seems like an awfully convenient excuse to delay the start of the tax season. Since the explosion of identity theft over the last few years, the IRS and multiple studies have concluded that the majority of fraud like identity theft occurs at the beginning of the tax season. Therefore, by delaying the start of the tax season, the theory is that with less days to file, the less fraudulent returns the IRS will receive. Therefore the early filers–which are usually low income taxpayers who really need their tax refunds just to live–are going to be most negatively affected by this delay. The little guy gets the shaft once again. Oh, and by the way, tax season may be delayed by a couple of weeks, but your taxes are still due on April 15th. Are we really surprised? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.