The IRS announced that it anticipates opening the 2015 filing season as scheduled in January. The IRS will begin accepting tax returns electronically on January 20. Paper returns will begin processing at the same time.

The decision follows Congress renewing a number of extender provisions of the tax law that expired at the end of 2013. These provisions were renewed by Congress through the end of 2014. The final legislation was signed into law on Dec.  19, 2014. (See "Passage of Tax Extenders Contains Key Breaks Tax Breaks.")

“We have reviewed the late tax law changes and determined there was nothing preventing us from continuing our updating and testing of our systems,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a statement. “Our employees will continue an aggressive schedule of testing and preparation of our systems during the next month to complete the final stages needed for the 2015 tax season.”

The IRS reminded taxpayers that filing electronically is the most accurate way to file a tax return and the fastest way to get a refund, adding that there is no advantage to people filing tax returns on paper in early January, instead of waiting for e-file to begin.

Roger Russell is senior editor for Accounting Today.

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