Tax Filing Season Delayed Until January 31st

IRS Accepting Returns January 31st
IRS Accepting Returns January 31st

The IRS put everyone one notice not long after the end of the latest government shutdown that the 2014 tax filing season would be delayed by “1 or 2 weeks”.   Well not surprisingly, the IRS recently released that the first date that they will be accepting 2013 tax returns for processing will be January 31st:

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced plans to open the 2014 filing season on Jan. 31…

The new opening date for individuals to file their 2013 tax returns will allow the IRS adequate time to program and test its tax processing systems. The annual process for updating IRS systems saw significant delays in October following the 16-day federal government closure.

“Our teams have been working hard throughout the fall to prepare for the upcoming tax season,” IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said. “The late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing and systems validation. It’s a complex process, and our bottom-line goal is to provide a smooth filing and refund process for the nation’s taxpayers.”

The government closure meant the IRS had to change the original opening date from Jan. 21 to Jan. 31, 2014. The 2014 date is one day later than the 2013 filing season opening, which started on Jan. 30, 2013, following January tax law changes made by Congress on Jan. 1 under the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). The extensive set of ATRA tax changes affected many 2012 tax returns, which led to the late January opening.

The IRS noted that several options are available to help taxpayers prepare for the 2014 tax season and get their refunds as easily as possible. New year-end tax planning information has been added to IRS.gov this week.

In addition, many software companies are expected to begin accepting tax returns in January and hold those returns until the IRS systems open on Jan. 31. More details will be available in January.

The IRS cautioned that it will not process any tax returns before Jan. 31, so there is no advantage to filing on paper before the opening date. Taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster by using e-file…with the direct deposit option.

The April 15 tax deadline is set by statute and will remain in place. However, the IRS reminds taxpayers that anyone can request an automatic six-month extension to file their tax return. The request is easily done with Form 4868, which can be filed electronically or on paper.

IRS systems, applications and databases must be updated annually to reflect tax law updates, business process changes and programming updates in time for the start of the filing season.

The October closure came during the peak period for preparing IRS systems for the 2014 filing season. Programming, testing and deployment of more than 50 IRS systems is needed to handle processing of nearly 150 million tax returns. Updating these core systems is a complex, year-round process with the majority of the work beginning in the fall of each year.

About 90 percent of IRS operations were closed during the shutdown, with some major work streams closed entirely during this period, putting the IRS nearly three weeks behind its tight timetable for being ready to start the 2014 filing season. There are additional training, programming and testing demands on IRS systems this year in order to provide additional refund fraud and identity theft detection and prevention.

Update:

The IRS is accepting 2013 Business Returns (Forms 1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, 720, 940, 941, 2290) for filing January 13th, 2014.

Source: IRS.gov

IRS Begins Accepting Tax Returns Today

IRS Accepting Returns Today
IRS Accepting Returns Today

After the longest delay in history, the IRS is now accepting electronic and paper tax returns for tax year 2012 as of January 30th, 2013.  The caveat is that many forms for both individual and business returns are further delayed including form 8863 Education credits.  The IRS has offered no specific date–only a general time frame of mid to late February–as to when these forms will be accepted.  If you are in real need of your refund and you are claiming one of the delayed forms, you could file your return without the forms in question and later amend your tax return to include these forms once the IRS approves them.  The following are a list of forms that are still not approved by the IRS as of today:

Forms affecting mainly individual returns

  • Form 4136 Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels
  • Form 4562 Depreciation and Amortization (Including Information on Listed Property)
  • Form 5695 Residential Energy Credits
  • Form 8396 Mortgage Interest Credit
  • Form 8582 Passive Activity Loss Limitations
  • Form 8839 Qualified Adoption Expenses
  • Form 8834 Qualified Plug-in Electric and Electric Vehicle Credit
  • Form 8910 Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit
  • Form 8936 Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit

Forms affecting mainly business returns

  • Form 3800 General Business Credit
  • Form 5074 Allocation of Individual Income Tax to Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Form 5471 Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations
  • Form 5735 American Samoa Economic Development Credit 
  • Form 5884 Work Opportunity Credit
  • Form 6478 Credit for Alcohol Used as Fuel
  • Form 6765 Credit for Increasing Research Activities
  • Form 8820 Orphan Drug Credit
  • Form 8844 Empowerment Zone and Renewal Community Employment Credit
  • Form 8845 Indian Employment Credit
  • Form 8859 District of Columbia First-Time Homebuyer Credit
  • Form 8864 Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit
  • Form 8874 New Markets Credits
  • Form 8900 Qualified Railroad Track Maintenance Credit
  • Form 8903 Domestic Production Activities Deduction
  • Form 8908 Energy Efficient Home Credit
  • Form 8909 Energy Efficient Appliance Credit
  • Form 8911 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit
  • Form 8912 Credit to Holders of Tax Credit Bonds
  • Form 8923 Mine Rescue Team Training Credit
  • Form 8932 Credit for Employer Differential Wage Payments

IRS Delays Accepting Returns Until Jan. 30th

E-file Delayed Until Jan. 30th
E-file Delayed Until Jan. 30th

By Robert W. Wood

The IRS plans to begin processing 2012 tax returns January 30, 2013, it has announced. With the massive fiscal cliff tax bill enacted January 2 that is mostly retroactive, the IRS has its work cut out for it. There are forms and instructions to revise, not to mention computers to retool. While the IRS says that it worked to anticipate Congress’ last minute tax law changes, the final law required the IRS to do considerable updating and processing before accepting tax returns.

The good news is that the vast majority of tax filers — more than 120 million households according to the IRS – should be able to start filing their tax returns January 30. In fact, the IRS notes that it will be able to accept tax returns impacted by the retroactive AMT patch as well as the three big extender provisions:

  • People claiming the state and local sales tax deduction;
  • Higher education tuition and fees deduction; and
  • Educator expenses deduction.

Waiting to File? Despite the massive IRS effort to get filing going right away, some taxpayers will need to wait until late February or March. Examples include people claiming residential energy credits, depreciation of property or general business credits. The IRS hopes to begin accepting tax returns including these tax forms between late February and into March. The IRS says it will announce a specific date in the near future. 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 onIRS.gov.

Even though Electronic filing has been pushed back to January 30th, R&G Brenner encourages all taxpayers to file as soon as they can.  Both NY State and the IRS have delayed refunds due to budget constraints in the past.  Those that file earlier will be queued up and ready to be transmitted to the IRS/State(s) as soon as the “gates” are opened, and this will reduce the chances that your refund is affected by any potential budget issues.  Contact an R&G Brenner professional today.  We are open and ready to assist you.

Source:  Forbes