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IRS Pledges 2015 Tax Season Will Open on Time

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The Internal Revenue Service said Monday that it “anticipates” that the 2015 tax filing season will open as scheduled in January, and that it will begin accepting electronic tax returns on Jan. 20, 2015. Paper tax returns will be processed at the same time, the IRS said.

There had been speculation — some of it emanating from the IRS itself — that the late passage by Congress of a number of “tax extender” provisions in December 2014 might affect tax filing season. However, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a Dec. 29 statement that the agency had “determined there was nothing preventing us from continuing our updating and testing of our systems” as a result of the tax extenders legislation that was signed into law on Dec. 19.

The Senate approved the tax extender bill—H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014—on Dec. 17 following its passage by the House earlier in December. 

In a press conference on Dec. 18, Koskinen warned that $346 million in congressionally imposed budget cuts might delay taxpayers’ refunds and that there would be fewer IRS agents involved in auditing returns and providing telephone assistance to filers. The Dec. 29 release did not address those issues.

IRS employees, Koskinen said, “will continue an aggressive schedule of testing and preparation of our systems during the next month to complete the final stages needed for the 2015 tax season.”

The IRS said it would make additional information available in January about the 2015 filing season.

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