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Tax Season Opens January 30 For Most 1040 Filers [Update]

By Marcia Richards Suelzer, MA, JD | January 29, 2013

The Internal Revenue Service plans to open the 2013 filing season and begin processing individual income tax returns on January 30 once it has updated its forms, instructions and computer programs to reflect the bulk of the tax law changes made by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. This means that the vast majority of tax filers -- more than 120 million households -- should be able to start filing tax returns starting January 30, 2013.

Who Can File Starting January 30?

The IRS anticipates that the vast majority of all taxpayers can file starting January 30, regardless of whether they file electronically or on paper. Specifically, the IRS is now ready to accept returns that are affected by the following law changes:

  • Alternative Minimum Tax patch
  • Extension of the state and local sales tax deduction
  • Extension of the higher education and fees deduction
  • Extension of the educator expense deduction

Who Has to Wait Until Later?

Those with more complex returns and many small business owners may need to wait until late February or March to file. Several forms affected by provisions of the American Taxpayer Relief Act require more extensive programming and testing of IRS systems. These include many of the forms used by the small business owner. Key forms that require more extensive programming changes include:

  • Form 4562 (Depreciation and Amortization)
  • Form 5695 (Residential Energy Credits)
  • Form 3800 (General Business Credit)

The complete list of forms that will not be ready until late February or early March can be found on the IRS website.

The IRS hopes to begin accepting tax returns including these tax forms between late February and into March and expects to announce a specific date in the near future.

Update: Individuals who plan to file Form 8863, Education Credits, to claim the American opportunity credit or the lifetime learning tax credits can not file when the filing season opens January 30.  Instead, these individuals must wait until mid-February.  The IRS plans to release the exact date once it has completed reprogramming its systems to accept the revised Form 8863.

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