It’s an annual rite of passage: the filing of federal and state income-tax returns usually begins mid-January – BUT! If you’re one of the early birds who like to be first in line, you should know that this year the IRS won’t even begin to process any returns until January 31st, for two reasons. The first, of course, is due to the 16-day government shutdown. The second reason, however, is because the agency needs the extra time to program and test new tax-processing software. Last year, almost 3 out of 4 taxpayers got a refund, and the average payout was $2,744, so – filing as soon as possible makes sense if you had a particularly wild and crazy Christmas, just wait until the end of January this year. If you file your return electronically, the IRS says you should get your refund within 21 days!
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