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Following the passage of the extenders legislation, the Internal Revenue Service announced it anticipates opening the 2015 filing season as scheduled in January. The IRS will begin accepting tax returns electronically on Jan. 20. Paper tax returns will begin processing at the same time. The IRS reminds taxpayers that filing electronically is the most accurate way to file a tax return and the fastest way to get a refund. There is no advantage to people filing tax returns on paper in early January instead of waiting for e-file to begin.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner has advised that the budget cuts will result in reduced services to taxpayers. Taxpayers can expect the following as a result of reduced services from IRS:


  • Refund delays.  According to the Commissioner, taxpayers who file paper tax returns may have to wait an extra week or longer to see their refund. The Commissioner didn’t specifically address whether delays would affect refunds for taxpayers who e-file.

  • Identity theft could increase. Despite the need for increased taxpayer protections against identity theft, the implementation of additional measures will be delayed

  • Lags in correspondence. With fewer employees on staff, IRS expects “lengthy delays” to answer correspondence.

  • Fewer resolutions. Taxpayer Advocate Service won’t be able to obtain a new case management system to oversee taxpayer hardship cases.

  • Unanswered calls.  The Commissioner is warning of a low answer level of telephone service and extended wait times.

  • Fewer Audit Closures. The reduction in staffing means fewer taxpayer audits will be closed in 2015. Collections case closures will also be reduced.