Originally planned to open on Jan. 22, the IRS announced yesterday that the 2013 tax filing season will formally open on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
Tax preparation at local IRS assistance centers and volunteer sites will also not be available until Jan. 30.
The filing announcement comes within a few weeks of the passing of the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which kept the bulk of previous tax breaks in play for 2013.
The majority of Americans now file their tax returns electronically. The IRS expects to process more than 120 million e-filed returns this year. Prior to Jan. 30, the IRS will work to update current year forms and complete programming changes.
“We have worked hard to open tax season as soon as possible,” Steven T. Miller, IRS Acting Commissioner said. “This date ensures we have the time we need to update and test our processing systems.”
Several forms affected by the late legislation will require more extensive programming and testing of IRS systems. So some taxpayers will need to wait until late Feb. or into March to file. A specific date will be announced in the near future.
Included in this group are individuals claiming the residential energy credits on Form 5696, depreciation of property on Form 4562, or those taking advantage of general business credits on Form 3800. Such returns are typically more complex and in general, these individuals file closer to the April 15 deadline or obtain an extension of time to file.
A full listing of the forms that won’t be accepted until later is available on IRS.gov.
Once the filing season opens, the IRS said to expect refunds to be issued within normal timeframes. The IRS issued most e-filed refunds in less than 21 days last year and expect the same in 2013.
For more information on refund timeframes, see the article What to Expect in Refunds for 2013 on irs.gov.
According to the IRS, they will not process paper tax returns before the anticipated Jan. 30 opening date. There is no advantage to filing on paper before the opening date, and taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster by using e-file with direct deposit.