Consumer Watch: Early tax prep

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 30 at 5:50 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Some will procrastinate, but other consumers just want to get it out of the way early when filing an income tax return.

This year, filing with the IRS begins Friday, January 31.

It is the second year in a row that the opening of tax season has been delayed. In 2013, extensive changes to tax laws passed by congress on January 1, pushed the start back to January 30, while the government updated systems.

This year, it’s thanks to the 16-day government shutdown in October, which the IRS says delayed programming, testing and training on their systems.

If you're wondering if the delayed start also means a delayed deadline, the answer, like last year, is no. The deadline to file is April 15. Those who need extra time can file for a six-month extension until October 15, though late payment penalties on balances still apply.

If you're looking for an option that will allow you to file for free, the IRS, with the help of fourteen tax prep software companies, will once again offer a free file option for taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less.

The IRS processed more than 147 million income tax returns in 2013.

The average refund is just under $2,800. Happy tax time, folks. The fun starts Friday.

If you have a consumer issue you’d like us to look into send an e-mail to consumerwatch@whas11.com.

 

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