Tax Defense Network, committed as always to keeping taxpayers informed on the must-know tax news, updates taxpayers on the recent IRS announcement: the tax filing season will start on January 31st, 2014.

This day is 10 days later than the original projected start date to the tax season, January 21st. The delay is due to the 16-day government shutdown in October, during which over 90% of the IRS workforce was on forced leave. Apparently, fall is the “peak period” for preparing the IRS systems for the new tax season. The IRS’ systems are updated every year to reflect changes in tax law. There are also yearly business process and programming updates.

According to IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel, “The late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing and systems validation. It’s a complex process, and our bottom-line goal is to provide a smooth filing and refund process for the nation’s taxpayers.”

The delay will allow the IRS additional time to prepare its systems for the tax filing season and ensure that all tax return filing processes run as smoothly as possible.

Though the start of the tax filing season is 10 days later than originally planned, the April 15th 2013 due date is still in place. The April 15th date is set by statute and cannot be changed.

“The due date for tax filing is still Monday, April 15th,” says Lori Hall Debt Analyst at Tax Defense Network, “so you will have ten less days to file your taxes. If you don’t think you can make this date, be sure to file for the 6-month extension. Better to file for the extension than to file your taxes late or not at all.”

The automatic six-month extension can be requested using IRS Form 4868 and can be filed either electronically or by paper. This form must be filed by April 15th, 2014.

The IRS recommends that taxpayers file their taxes electronically via e-file or File Free. Taxpayers who file electronically with the direct deposit option will receive their tax refunds much faster.

“Tax Defense Network is always here to help taxpayers with any issues in tax season,” Lori Hall adds. “We help with tax prep, and any issue that comes up when you are preparing taxes. If you find you owe more taxes than you can afford to pay at once, we are here to help as well.”

Tax Defense Network is a national tax resolution company that assists individuals and small business with their IRS and State tax issues. Its A+ Better Business Bureau tax team of licensed tax professionals, enrolled agents and CPAs has over 35 years of experience assisting taxpayers.