INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — This week the IRS started accepting all tax returns, but it’s warning taxpayers that it could take longer to process refunds.
Due to a shrinking IRS budget and new procedures for the Affordable Care Act, officials say it could be a rough tax season for many taxpayers. That’s why experts say it’s so important to file early.
The IRS has said refunds could be delayed by at least a week because of budget cuts. The earlier you file, the earlier you’ll get your refund.
The budget cuts have led to fewer workers, and that leads to fewer audits. The IRS may not have the manpower to conduct as many audits or collect overdue tax bills. The Washington Post reports the IRS could lose $2 billion in revenue that otherwise would have been collected.
It’s important for to get your return in early to reduce your chance of identity theft. Scammers will take advantage of procrastinators by stealing W-2 info, filing fake returns
and cashing in on the check before you even realize it.
Tax experts and the IRS expects to see confusion this year surrounding the Affordable Care Act. ACA required most people to have health insurance last year or pay a fine. This year, expect to see a health care question on your return, in addition to listing the usual income and tax credits.
Throughout this process, you might want to call the IRS for help. One report said more than 100 million people call the IRS every year for help, but this year some experts are warning less than half of those callers will get through to a human being.
The IRS told 24-Hour News 8 that budget cuts have drained its resources, so workers can’t get to the phones fast enough. Callers could be waiting at least 30 minutes before speaking with someone.
The IRS recommends taxpayers go to its website before calling. There, you can find lots of information and tutorials that will likely answer your question.