Tax return filing is a more annoying ritual than ever in 2013. Tax season has been more confusing than most years this year because of all the late changes made to the 2012 tax laws.
Tax returns can normally be filed as soon as you get your W-2 form, which for many of us comes electronically before the end of January. If you file a fairly simple return with standard deductions you can probably file right away, as the IRS has been accepting tax return filings electronically since around January 20th.
Taxpayers who file their returns now using electronic filing and direct deposit will have their returns processed faster than those who file without using e-file or direct deposit and can expect to receive their refund in less than three weeks. Taxpayers who file a paper return will have to wait longer than 3 weeks.
If you are claiming tax credits
If you take any of the following credits - residential energy credit, general business credits, or depreciation of property - you will need to wait until the IRS announces they are prepared to process tax returns which take these credits, which they expect will be sometime in late February or early March.
Most people who take these credits wait until around the April 15th deadline to file anyway, but if you happen to have been ready to file your tax returns because you know you overpaid the IRS during 2012, you still have to wait until the IRS gives the green light.
While the IRS says that most taxpayers will be able to file their tax return starting on January 30, the IRS has provided a list of forms that cannot be filed until later. The list is on the IRS website.
Electronic filing is your best option
Taxpayers who anticipate a refund are urged to file electronically as this cuts down the time to receive your refund to around 3 weeks as opposed to approximately two months for paper tax returns. TurboTax 2013 is the ideal software to use for Federal and State income tax returns.