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IRS tax filing date delayed 2014 tax season: How long will tax refunds take?

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If you are expecting a tax refund this year, you will have to wait a few weeks before the IRS processes your tax return.

The government shutdown last October has affected the earliest date you can file your 2013 taxes. According to the IRS, even if you e-file, the 2014 filing season will not officially begin until Jan. 31, 2014.

The Internal Revenue Service will not start processing refunds until the last day of January, so it's best to use e-File or Free file and direct deposit so you get your refund faster.

TurboTax is offering free online e-filing right now. They will automatically transmit your return on January 31, 2014. Direct deposit into your checking or savings account is available for a speedier return.

If you don't have a checking account, Turbo Tax offers the option of getting your tax refund on a free NetSpend Premier Visa Prepaid Card.This prepaid Visa debit card can be used online and at retailers that accept Visa. You can also get cash from any ATM machine that bears the Visa logo, up to your daily limit.

If you're not ready to e-file yet, you can get a free estimate of your refund on TurboTax.com without starting your tax return.

How long will it take to get your tax refund? Once processing begins at the end of the month, the process will be quick if you e-file. The IRS states that tax refunds will be issued within approximately 21 days if you file electronically.

How long will tax refunds take? Check the status of your tax refund online

The process may be even faster if you choose direct deposit. Waiting for a paper check is not only a slower process, there's always a risk that your check could get lost in the mail.

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