IRS Plans Jan. 30 Tax Season Opening for 1040 Filers

Taxpayers can file returns starting at the end of the month.

Editor's Note: The following was submitted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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

The IRS will begin accepting tax returns on that date after updating forms and completing programming and testing of its processing systems. This will reflect the bulk of the late tax law changes enacted Jan. 2. The announcement means that the vast majority of tax filers — more than 120 million households — should be able to start filing tax returns starting Jan 30.

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. 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,” IRS Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller said. “This date ensures we have the time we need to update and test our processing systems.”

The IRS will not process paper tax returns before the anticipated Jan. 30 opening date. There is no advantage to filing on paper before the opening date, and taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster by using e-file with direct deposit.

“The best option for taxpayers is to file electronically,” Miller said.

The opening of the filing season follows passage by Congress of an extensive set of tax changes in ATRA on Jan. 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 can begin accepting tax returns.

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

Who Can File Starting Jan. 30?

The IRS anticipates that the vast majority of all taxpayers can file starting Jan. 30, regardless of whether they file electronically or on paper. The IRS will be able to accept tax returns affected by the late Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch as well as the three major “extender” provisions for people claiming the state and local sales tax deduction, higher education tuition and fees deduction and educator expenses deduction.

Who Can’t File Until Later?

There are several forms affected by the late legislation that require more extensive programming and testing of IRS systems. The IRS hopes to begin accepting tax returns including these tax forms between late February and into March; a specific date will be announced in the near future.

The key forms that require more extensive programming changes include Form 5695 (Residential Energy Credits), Form 4562 (Depreciation and Amortization) and Form 3800 (General Business Credit). A full listing of the forms that won’t be accepted until later is available on IRS.gov.

As part of this effort, the IRS will be working closely with the tax software industry and tax professional community to minimize delays and ensure as smooth a tax season as possible under the circumstances.

Look for updated information on IRS.gov.

Ern Batavia January 12, 2013 at 04:22 PM
I wonder at what point the gullible 0bama supporters will realize that they, too, are getting hosed.
Vito Spago January 12, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Obama thought the Bush tax cuts were so good that he kept them for not only folks making up to $250k but also up to $450k. Estate tax exemption is still at $5M. This is now permanent. Payroll taxes increased for all W-2 earners. Rich do not make W-2 money they make Cap Gains & business income. Obama screwed the middle class and the muppets do not realize it. Media did not admit to it either. Cannot let it be known that Obama is beholding to Wall Street.
Vincent Matthews January 12, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Do you ever get tired of blaming EVERYTHING you consider negative on President Obama? He won... Move on!!
Kenny January 12, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Oh please Vincent. That's what we do, you do, I do. Blame the other guy. That way we don't have to claim it. But at some point we all need to get together and just solve the problem. Or not.
Eric Dee January 12, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Erin, name calling will NOT solve the problem. I believe that rather than patching (Pardon the pun) the tax codes, a complete overhaul is necessary, to start with a clean slate and eliminate the exemptions and special rates will help improve the situation. Like many American's, the Government, is hurting at most levels for revenue. Let's keep this posting clean from partisan politics and in this New Year period strive to make the USA a better place to live, raise a family and care for those less fortunate. Then maybe we can place more emphasis on social issues like the safety of all. Sorry to Vincent and Kenny for not adding to the cynicism.
Mark Paxson January 13, 2013 at 02:52 AM
Vito ... your one and only reply to anything I've ever posted here is to call me an ass. Based on just how much you got wrong in your comment here, you really need to look into the mirror. Please tell me what tax cut, tax increase, tax rate has ever been "permanent." Also, while you'd like focus on the fact that payroll taxes went up. Let's look at reality. The cut in payroll taxes was meant to be temporary, only one year, as a stimulus to the economy. It was not meant to be a permanent (to the extent anything related to taxes is ever permanent). The reduction was extended for another year. For this middle class person, that means another $200 a month. On the other hand, if the Bush tax cuts had expired for my income level, it would have probably been thousands more per year. So, let's see ... consistent with what he meant to do when the payroll tax reduction was first enacted -- a temporary shot in the arm of the economy -- he was OK with the payroll tax going back up to its regular level. But, with respect to the Bush tax cuts, he stood firm on not letting income taxes go up for the middle class. Yep, he certainly has screwed the middle class.
Kenny January 13, 2013 at 06:00 PM
I agree Eric, dump the tax code and start over. It has become a mess of quick fixes that has done nothing but made the CPA's richer and a few others I'm sure. I personally am in favor of a flat tax As far as the "cynicism" jab, come off your high horse.
Diane Bianconi McNiel January 13, 2013 at 06:57 PM
I totally agree with the flat tax those numbers have been worked many times but as much as I am a believer it will never happen because it greatly reduce government jobs and I don't think they will ever do it but it they should it makes perfect sense.
Vito Spago January 13, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Mark: To call Christian beliefs a myth does make you an ass. Protestant beliefs are responsible for the creation of the entire western civilization. If not for Christian beliefs, you would sitting in crap staring at your navel. Folks do not look at that revocation of that SS cut as just removal of a temporary stimulous no more than they would look at the revocation of the Bush tax cuts as merely a revocation of a Bush measure that was to be temporary anyway. The fiscal cliff was resolved because reversal of the Bush tax cuts would have been so bad to the middle class that it was unthinkable. No one was dumb enough to consider it just a reversion to the original tax rates. Ask the folks who took hits to their paychecks beginning Jan 1 how they like the new US austerity program. They are going to see a lot more of it, since the US is BROKE.
Eric Dee January 13, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Sorry Kenny, I guess your skin is pretty thin. Flat tax is not my answer, I am sticking to my comment about cynicism as so many choose to use it in their posts.
Vito Spago January 13, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Flat tax does away with government social engineering. It prevents the government from steering money and business decisions in the way they want to things to go. Same when the dollar went off the gold standard. They want to be able to control the value of the dollar and thereby control interest rates, inflation, etc.
ATC January 14, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Eric, I do agree that the tax code needs a complete overhaul, possibly even a flat tax (the only really fair system), but you are completely wrong when you say that Government is hurting for revenue. Government is NOT hurting for revenue, it is SPENDING TOO MUCH. Increasing Government's revenue (code words for "taxes") will never "make the USA a better place to live, raise a family, and care for those less fortunate", it will only take more from those who work and produce, and give it to those who won't. The rest of us must live within our means; why shouldn't the Government do so as well? As it stands, the Federal Government will NEVER be able to pay off even the existing debt, EVER! It will only be reduced in a hundred years or so through inflation. But the one thing Government CAN and SHOULD do is to STOP ADDING to that debt!!!!


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