For like the twentieth time, the IRS has failed to realize that we live under a dysfunctional and incompetent government and just kind of assumed that everything was going to work fine and nothing would interfere with their ability to start accepting electronic returns.
It would have been foolish to schedule a little extra lead time into programming for the 2014 filing season (sarcasm alert). I mean, after all, Congress already passed all the laws necessary for this year so there won't be any last minute changes, so, what could possibly go wrong?
Oh crap! Didn't see that coming. It's not like it's ever happened before (like 16 times). So, the public gets screwed again. There will be up to a two week delay in accepting electronically filed returns, so, instead of Jan 21st, it will be between Jan 28th and Feb 4th. This means up to a two week delay in getting refunds issued.
You can still see your tax guy as soon as you get your paperwork ready, but they won't be able to send it in until the IRS begins accepting returns, and that will be the point that the 10-21 day clock starts for refunds. Paper filing won't help. That's too slow anyway.
So plan ahead if you like your refund quick. You probably should assume your money won't be here until Feb 25th, that way you most likely won't be disappointed. Sorry.
The IRS news release is HERE