Government shutdown delays tax season start

WASHINGTON — Here’s more fallout from the government’s partial shutdown:

Early tax filers will have to wait an extra week or two to get tax refunds next year.

On Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service said it will delay the start of next year’s filing season by up to two weeks to give programmers time to finish updating the agency’s computers.


The 16-day shutdown, which ended last week, came at a critical time, as the agency was working to update more than 50 systems used to process returns, the IRS said in a statement.

Get Talking Points in your inbox:
An afternoon recap of the day’s most important business news, delivered weekdays.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The filing season had been set to start Jan. 21.

Acting IRS head Danny Werfel said the agency is working to shorten the delay.

The delay will affect early filers, many of whom rush their returns to the IRS so they can get refunds quickly.

The April 15 deadline for filing individual tax returns, which is set by law, remains unchanged.


The IRS issued more than $228 billion in refunds this year. Most of that money was issued before March 1.