The IRS will delay the beginning of tax season by eight full days. Today, the IRS announced that it plans to open the 2013 filing season and begin processing individual income tax returns on January 30, 2013. This announcement follows the tax law changes made by the American Taxpayer Relief Act, the Congressional agreement used to combat the fiscal cliff. The IRS has stated that the delay is due to the additional form changes and system programming updates that need to occur before e-file can open.
The IRS MUST process your return before your refund can be issued. Because this IRS delay affects when the IRS begins processing returns, the refund cycle will be pushed back eight days, though the IRS will strive to meet their goal of a 21 day refund processing time. This means that—underneath current IRS guidelines—if you have already finished your federal income tax return—or you complete your return anytime before January 30—you can expect your refund around February 20, or several days afterward.
This IRS announcement also impacts tax services across the entire tax industry. All taxpayers will also experience a delay in when you can submit or complete your return for delivery to the IRS.