Q&A with David Stell
Tax filing starts Jan. 30 for most
Q: The IRS has announced the time for filing 2012 federal individual income tax returns will begin this year on Jan. 30. The filing period usually begins Jan. 2 — why later this year?
A: Tax law changes made by Congress under the American Taxpayer Relief Act were enacted on Jan. 2. The legislation has major implications for the IRS, and a direct impact on this year's tax filing season. Once the changes became law, the IRS began updating tax forms, and must complete programming and testing of its processing systems before being ready to accept tax return filings.
Q: Will all taxpayers then be able to file beginning Jan. 30?
A: The vast majority will. The IRS expects that more than 120 million households will be able to file beginning Jan. 30, including those affected by the AMT, as well as those claiming the “extender” deductions for sales taxes, tuition and educator expenses. Others who claim certain tax benefits and provisions, such as residential energy credits, depreciation of property or general business credits, will be able to file beginning in late February or March because of the need for more extensive form and processing systems changes. A full listing of forms the IRS will not accept until later will be posted on the IRS website, irs.gov. The IRS will soon announce a specific date for these taxpayers.