The Internal Revenue Service announced the start date for filing taxes will be Jan. 30, more than a week later than normal.
IRS officials explained that this is due to the American Tax Relief Act, passed by Congress on Jan. 2. This repealed tax hikes, which went into effect Jan 1, and renewed several tax credits.
Because of the changes, the IRS needed more time to ready their software and systems to begin accepting electronic returns.
While there will be a minor delay, Tom Swearingen, a Shawnee accountant, explained that it likely won’t have a large affect on the average filer.
“They won’t see a lot of changes,” he said.
While it is possible that people won’t see returns as quickly this way, Swearingen doesn’t believe that will be a problem either, he said.
However, he fully expects the IRS to busy on Jan. 30.
“When that day comes, there’s going to be a lot of returns filed,” Swearingen said.
This is likely because many accountants and other tax filing services, including Swearingen, will have the software ready and will be able to do everything “except push that button,” to send the IRS the information, he said.
From this it is possible the IRS could get backed up, however Swearingen doesn’t expect that to be the case, because many people don’t file until later during tax season anyway, he said.
While the average taxpayer will see only a slight delay, businesses are likely to see a larger delay. Swearingen forecasted businesses won’t likely be able to file until late February, or even March.
He explained that this is because the IRS has to reprint all of their forms due to changes brought on by the Jan. 2 tax relief act. Because no action was taken, the IRS printed all their forms based on the Bush-era tax cuts expiring and lesser tax credits.
“We knew something was going to happen, but we didn’t know what,” Swearingen said.
When the law was passed, the IRS had to reprint the bills to reflect it, he said.
While many criticize the law, Swearingen said one benefit for taxpayers is that it made the tax cuts permanent.
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“That’s one good thing – we know where we stand on tax rates,” he said.
The law will likely make things easier for him next year as well, Swearingen said.
“The biggest thing that affected the majority of us [accountants] was not being able to advise our clients at the end of the year,” due to not knowing what would happen with the Bush-era tax cuts, he added.
With these permanent tax cuts in place, he will know what future tax rates will be and will be able to advise his clients accordingly, he said.