Washington, D.C. – The Internal Revenue Service has requested that private sector transmitters of e-filed returns stagger their submission of returns over the course of this week, according to one industry group.

CERCA, the association for the electronic filing of tax returns, issued a statement Tuesday to remind taxpayers that although the IRS began this week to process millions of returns that were delayed by late tax legislation passed in December, and by associated IRS systems reprogramming, there will be some continued delays in return and refund processing.

Due to the high volume of backlogged IRS returns beginning to be processed this week, the agency is limiting the number of returns it will accept daily to manage their systems capacity and to ensure successful filings of all returns, according to CERCA.

As a result of the IRS request for e-file transmitters to stagger their submission of tax returns, taxpayers may experience delays in their return processing and in the time it takes to receive their federal tax refund.

As it has since the slow start of this tax season since the beginning of the year, the industry is continuing to work closely with the IRS to process all tax returns as quickly as IRS systems will allow, CERCA noted. The group, whose full name is the Council for Electronic Revenue Communication Advancement, was founded at the request of the IRS 15 years ago to provide a forum and a liaison point between the IRS and the industry with the goal of building electronic filing and tax administration.

The IRS announced Tuesday that it began processing on Monday many of the 1040 itemized individual returns that had been delayed because of the late enactment of the Bush tax cuts legislation. However, it noted that some non-1040 business tax returns containing certain business-related forms would still be delayed until further notice.

By Michael Cohn