Business
4:10 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Your Federal Tax Refund Could Be Delayed

There may be a delay in taxpayers getting their federal refunds. It’s connected to last October’s federal shutdown.

The IRS says the fastest way to get your tax refund is by using e-file.
Credit by Mike Chaput 427 via flickr

The government closure meant the IRS had to change the original opening date for filing season from Jan. 21 to Jan. 31, 2014.

IRS officials say the new opening date for individuals to file their 2013 tax returns will allow the agency adequate time to program and test its tax processing systems.

IRS spokesman Mark Hanson explains what taxpayers can expect.  

“No submission, whether they come from you or your tax preparer, will be able to go to the IRS until we open to e-file on January 31. What that means to the average taxpayer, especially those expecting a refund is usually you can expect your money in about 10 to 21 days after the IRS accepts your return. But for instance if you file now, the IRS will not begin processing that return until January 31,” says Hanson.  

Hanson is based in Greensboro. He also says using e-file or an online Free File with the direct deposit option is still the faster method.

“We find when taxpayers e-file their returns, the chance of their being a simple error on their return is less than one percent, where as those returns that are prepared on paper and mailed to the IRS have about a 20 percent chance for a simple error, which can delay the processing. Bottom line: errors can delay you getting your refund in a timely manner if they have to be corrected,” says Hanson.

The deadline to file your 2013 taxes is April 15.

Follow Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news