Tax Season Delayed

by Kenneth Hoffman in , , ,

Following the January tax law changes made by the United States Congress within the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that it plans to open the 2013 filing season and begin processing individual income tax returns on January 30.

The opening of the filing season follows passage by Congress of an extensive set of tax changes in ATRA on January 1, 2013, with many affecting tax returns for 2012. While the IRS worked to anticipate the late tax law changes as much as possible, the final law required that the IRS update forms and instructions as well as make critical processing system adjustments before it could begin accepting tax returns.

The IRS will therefore begin accepting tax returns on January 30, after updating forms and completing programming and testing of its processing systems, to reflect the bulk of the late tax law changes. The announcement means that the vast majority of tax filers - more than 120m households - should be able to start filing tax returns on that date.

The IRS will be able to accept tax returns affected by the late Alternative Minimum Tax patch as well as the three major "tax extender" provisions for taxpayers claiming the state and local sales tax deduction, higher education tuition and fees deduction and educator expenses deduction.

It is estimated that the remaining households will be able to start filing in late February or early March, because of the need for more extensive form and processing systems changes. This group includes people claiming residential energy credits, depreciation of property or general business credits. Most of those in this group file more complex tax returns and typically file closer to the April 15 deadline, or obtain an extension.

"We have worked hard to open tax season as soon as possible," said IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller. "This date ensures we have the time we need to update and test our processing systems."

The IRS has also emphasized that taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster by using e-file with direct deposit. The IRS had originally planned to open electronic filing this year on January 22; more than 80% of taxpayers filed electronically last year.

Although tax season has been delayed, there is no automatic extension to file or pay any taxes that may be due by March 15th for corporate filers and April 15th for every one else. If an extension is needed, call us ASAP at 954.591.8290.

Kenneth Hoffman counsels Entrepreneurs, Professionals and Select Individuals in taking control of their taxes, and businesses. Discover how I can help you overcome your tax and business challenges. To start the conversation or to become a client, call Kenneth Hoffman at (954) 591-8290 Monday - Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for a no cost consultation, or drop me a note.

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