Tax season begins

Published 9:27 pm Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Taxpayers can now begin filing their returns after Wednesday’s start to the tax filing season.

The season began late this year because of last-minute tax law changes made by Congress and enacted Jan. 2. The IRS had to make changes to many tax forms and systems based on the changes, according to a press release from the IRS.

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

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Most tax filers should now be able to file tax returns, including those affected by the Alternative Minimum Tax patch and people claiming the state and local tax deductions, higher education tuition and fees deduction and educator expenses deduction.

But some claiming certain other credits must wait until mid-February or even later, according to the release.

“There are several forms affected by the late legislation that require more extensive programming and testing of IRS systems,” the press release states. “The IRS hopes to begin accepting tax returns including these tax forms between late February and into March.”

Filers who claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit can begin filing in mid-February. Those claiming other credits, including the General Business Credit, Residential Energy Credits, Mortgage Interest Credit, Energy Efficient Home and Appliance Credits, Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit and more will need to wait until late February or March. For the full list of credits that require later filing, click here.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to file their returns electronically and select the direct deposit option for their refunds. Doing so enables them to receive their refunds more quickly.

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