The start of tax filing season for individuals—which was initially scheduled to kick off on Jan. 21, 2014—will officially open on Jan. 31, 2014, according to the latest IRS pronouncement. (IRS Internal Release 2013-100, 12/18/13) The opening was delayed due to the 16-day shutdown of the federal government in October 2013.
The IRS claimed that it needed the extra time after the shutdown to program and test its tax systems.
Note that the due date for 2013 personal returns remains April 15, 2014. However, taxpayers can request an automatic six-month filing extension until Oct. 15, 2014, no questions asked. The extension does not delay your obligation to pay your tax bill by the normal April 15, 2014, deadline.