The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that it will plans to delay the 2013 tax filing season until January 30, 2013. It plans to begin processing individual income tax returns on that date. This is more than a week later than the initially planned start date of January 22. In addition, some returns will not be processed until late February or March.

The reason is the late passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act. Before it can begin accepting tax returns, the IRS must update its forms and complete the programming of its processing systems to reflect the tax law changes enacted January 2, 2013. The vast majority of tax filers — more than 120 million households —  should be able to start filing tax returns as of January 30.

Because of the need for more extensive form and processing systems changes, the remaining households will not be able to start filing until late February or March. A specific date will be announced when available. This group includes people claiming residential energy credits, depreciation of property, or general business credits. Most of those in this group file more complex tax returns and typically file closer to the April 15 deadline or obtain an extension.

The IRS has already begun processing some business tax returns.

The IRS said it would not process paper tax returns before the anticipated January 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.

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