Editor's Note: This article is part of our 2014 Tax Tips series. Robert Flach is an expert with more than 40 years of experience as a tax professional and also blogs as The Wandering Tax Pro.
NEW YORK (MainStreet) Thanks to last fall's government shutdown, the IRS will not begin processing electronic or paper income tax returns until January 31.
The Service generally begins the tax filing season on January 21 but needed the additional ten days to properly program and test its tax processing systems.
This is the second year that the processing of tax returns is delayed. Last year the start of the filing season was pushed to January 30, 2013, because of the last minute passage of The American Taxpayer Relief Act. The processing of returns claiming depreciation and amortization deductions, education and energy credits, and passive losses was delayed until late February.
Regardless of when the processing of returns will begin, you should not rush to be the first on your block to file your 1040. Don't begin work on your returns, or give your "stuff" to your tax preparer until you have received all the necessary forms and information - every W-2, every 1098, every 1099, and every K-1.
If you have a brokerage account there is an excellent chance that you will receive at least one corrected "Consolidated 1099 Statement" to revise the amount of dividends, interest and gross proceeds after the original statement arrives in February. The final corrected 1099 may not arrive until March.
But don't wait until the last minute.