The tax law changes under the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) caused a delay in filing for 2012 individual income tax returns. However, according to the IRS, the vast majority of filers should be able to start filing today (January 30, 2013). The IRS will be able to accept returns affected by the late Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch as well as state and local sales tax deduction, higher education tuition and fees deduction and educator expenses deduction.
For those who file Form 8863 Education Credits, the IRS will begin accepting these returns in mid-February. However, several other forms will not be accepted until late February or early March due to extensive programming changes.
The key forms that require more extensive programming changes include the following (available late February or early March):
Form 5695 (Residential Energy Credits)
Form 4562 (Depreciation and Amortization)
Form 3800 (General Business Credit)
In addition to the above, there are more than 20 other forms delayed. However, those forms are far less common then those mentioned above. For a complete list of delayed forms is available on the IRS website.
Even if you are required to file one of the delayed forms in order to complete your income tax return, do not delay having your return prepared. Your tax professional can prepare your return and let you know the results now and then file when the forms become available. Not only will you avoid a late tax season rush, you will be able to plan for your tax payment or refund accordingly.
Dawn Schneider has been a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for over 20 years. She enjoys providing top notch service to individuals and small to mid-sized business for all of their accounting and tax needs.