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Tax Returns Jan. 30; IRS Changes Date Due to Fiscal Cliff But Some Forms Not Accepted Until March

The fiscal cliff has impacted tax season by pushing its start to Jan. 30.

By Dexter Keyton, EnStars on Jan 09, 2013 12:18 PM EST
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Internal Revenue Service
Women walk out of an Internal Revenue Service office in New York April 18, 2011. (Photo : Reuters)

The Internal Revenue Service announced this week that it will accept tax returns starting Jan. 30.

The agency originally planned to start accepting tax returns on Jan. 22, but delayed its schedule by eight days in order to update its computer system. Many of the changes to their system and forms come from the recent fiscal cliff legislation that was passed last week, which means IRS had to quickly update to match the new federal requirements.

"We have worked hard to open tax season as soon as possible," said IRS Acting Commissioner Steve T. Miller in a press announcement reported by The Los Angeles Times. "This date ensures we have the time we need to update and test our processing systems."

The IRS also warned that some of the common forms used by taxpayers will not be able to be filed until early February or March.

Some of the reasons that taxpayers will have to wait is if they want to claim a residential energy tax credit, report property depreciation or claim a general business credit. The full list of forms that will not be available until February or March is available on the IRS website.

The filing delay will likely cause some trouble for certain taxpayers, however, the change in date is not likely going to have an impact on business for the tax preparation company. 

"With refunds now coming several weeks later, those who can afford it the least are impacted the most," Kathy Pickering, executive director of the Tax Institute at H&R Block, said to Reuters. "[But] we don't expect this will affect our overall volume at all."

Both electronic and paper returns will be accepted starting Jan. 30. Taxpayers who want to file their own taxes electronically can do so free through the IRS Free File program. The quickest way to get a tax refund is to file electronically and have your refund direct-deposited to your bank account.

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