Put down those calculators and step away from the kitchen table...for now at least. As Tyler Shane at H & R Block's Keystone office in Reno told us, "Yesterday the IRS stated that they would not be accepting returns until January 30th."
It's because of the late changes to tax laws in the fiscal cliff deal. The IRS has to work those changes into their software and forms and test them. That puts this tax season on an 8-day delay. For now, Tyler and the other tax preparers can't even submit electronic returns until the 30th.
For H & R Block Keystone office manager Kathleen Price, the immediate effect is going to be a barrage of calls from her customers. She told us, "We'll probably be manning the phones answering these types of questions. You know, people have to pay the rent."
And that's the worst part of the delay. A late start for filing means a late tax refund. Shane told us, "The IRS usually starts mid-January holding returns, and then they will usually fund the returns for that point. So we're 8 days delayed."
Worse, that refund wait may take much longer if you file certain tax credits, like property depreciation and energy credits. Refunds for more itemized returns could take up to 75 days before they're sent out, even though there are a lot of people depending on those refunds for rent and bills.
For now, don't bother sending in your paper returns before the 30th…the IRS won't start processing them until them. The fastest way to get that refund? File electronically, on the 30th, and have your refunds deposited directly into your bank account.
And, unfortunately for procrastinators, Washington's dysfunction won't delay the coming of the tax man…April 15 is still the deadline to file.
You can get your head start online...the IRS website has all the forms and information you need. You just can't file until the 30th. Here's the link:
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:16 AM EDT2013-05-25 06:16:04 GMT
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