This one sucks, but you can still file it under “It Could Have Been Worse.”

The IRS has announced that the 2014 tax season will start on Jan. 31, a full 10 days after its scheduled Jan. 21 start date. That will leave CPAs trying for a second consecutive year to cram all of their tax work into an abbreviated filing season.

The reason for the delay, of course, is the federal government shutdown. Most IRS operations were shuttered during those 16 days in October, and the agency lost valuable time as it ramped up its tax systems for the 2014 filing season.

Still, in late October the IRS said tax season could start as late as Feb. 4, so really it’s like we’re getting four extra days this year … right?

“Bill,” you’re saying, “don’t be an idiot.”

Good point, considering that last year’s filing season — which started on Jan. 30 — was considered by many to be the tax season from hell.

Whatever. Circle Jan. 31 on your calendars, tax preparers.

And good luck.

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