Tax season officially kicked off January 20, 2015, as scheduled, even with late tax extender law passage on December 19, and cuts in IRS funding. Those filing paper returns this year, however, will have their refunds delayed an additional week or longer due to the cuts in funding. We are also told the wait times if you call the IRS are expected to be much longer this tax season. This is the lowest level of funding since 2008, and the lowest since 1998 when inflation is considered, according to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
Another major issue this year will be the level of identity theft-related tax fraud. Even as it improves its computer filters, due to the limited funding the first and major line of defense becomes the states.
The fee to get a private letter ruling from the IRS are increasing dramatically. The fee is adjusted by income, but the maximum fee goes from $19,000 to $28,300 February 1, 2015.