Tax season to start at end of month

January 23, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

Internal Revenue Service has announced they will begin processing individual tax returns on Jan. 30.

The IRS is attributing the delay to law changes.

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

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

According to released information the IRS will use the extra time to update forms and completing programming and testing of its systems.

The IRS estimated more than 120 million households should be able to start filing their taxes on Jan. 30.

The IRS is advising there is no advantage to filing paper tax return before Jan. 30. They are also encouraging filers to do so electronically and pointed out that 80 percent of taxpayers filed electronically last year.

“The best option for taxpayers is to file electronically,” Miller said in a released statement.

The Potter’s House Ministries in Sciotoville is an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site. As a result they can prepare state and federal tax returns for free.

Ed Myers, Potter’s House Ministries spokesman said delaying the start of the tax season will mean more work for them.

“The delay is proving to be a major inconvenience, we would have started doing taxes this week, if it hadn’t been delayed,” Myers said. “As it is we are starting to file on the 25th but they can’t be e-filed until the 30th. We’re letting people come in and fill out their forms and they will have to check back with us on the 30th so we can submit them.”

He said they have a goal of completing between 750-800 tax returns this year.

“Now we have less time to do them in,” Myers said. “I heard this morning the IRS expected to have close to a million people file their taxes on the 30th. If that’s the case I’m sure there is going to be a backlog on refunds.”

This is the sixth year the Potter’s House Ministries has helped area residents prepare their federal and state tax returns.

Myers said documents people should bring with them in order to have their taxes prepared are proof of identification, Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents, wage and earning statements, a copy of last year’s federal and state returns, proof of bank accounts and account numbers for direct deposit purposes among others. To file taxes electronically on a married-filling-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign required forms.

During the 2012 tax season Potter’s House Ministries volunteers helped to complete 650 state and federal income tax returns. Those refunds totalled $732,000.

The IRS is also advising that those filing Form 5695 (Residential Energy Credits), Form 4562 (Depreciation and Amortization) and Form 3800 (General Business Credit) can start filing in late February or March.

The IRS says these filings will be delayed because of the need for more extensive form and processing systems changes. Most of those in this group file more complex tax returns and typically file closer to the April 15 deadline or obtain an extension.

The IRS says, it’s working with tax software industry and tax professional community to minimize delays and ensure as smooth a tax season as possible.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com