On 12/16/14, the US Senate passed a short term tax extenders package that retroactively extended many provisions that expired at the end of 2013. The bill (H.R. 5771) was titled “Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014" and only extended most of the expired provisions in the tax law until the end of 2014. Congress and the Senate did the bare minimum necessary to avoid creating a major disruption to the 2015 tax-filing season and saddling taxpayers with unexpectedly higher income tax bills. The final legislation was signed into law by the president on December 19, 2014.
The IRS announced today (12/29/14) that they have reviewed the late tax law changes and determined there was nothing preventing them from continuing to update and test their systems.
The IRS expects to be able to begin accepting and processing paper and electronically prepared returns on January 20, 2015.