IRS Accepting Tax Returns Late This Year

Tax time is upon us and this year the IRS will begin processing tax returns on January 30th.

The IRS originally planned to open electronic filing this year on Jan. 22; more than 80 percent of taxpayers filed electronically last year.

However, the late opening of the filing season follows passage by Congress of an extensive set of tax changes that went into effect on January 1st , 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 can begin accepting tax returns.

IRS spokesman Mark Green said the January 30th start date gives the IRS time to make changes to this year’s tax code.

“The vast majority of taxpayers can start filing on the January 30th date, including those affected by the Alternative Minimum Tax as well as any extenders such as State and Local Sales Tax Deduction, the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction, as well as the Educator Expense Deduction.”

 The IRS is encouraging people to use e-file again this year and is also asking those who file a paper to wait until January 30 to file.

Green said the IRS estimates that remaining households will be able to start filing in late February or into 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,” he said.

Most of those in this group file more complex tax returns and typically file closer to the April 15 deadline or obtain an extension.