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The Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday it will begin processing individual income tax returns beginning Jan. 30.
The start of filing had been delayed while the agency reprogrammed computers and revised tax forms to reflect changes following legislation passed and signed into law Jan. 2 that avoided the so-called budgetary “fiscal cliff.” The original start of filing was expected to be Jan. 22.
The announcement means that the vast majority of tax filers — more than 120 million households — should be able to start filing tax returns, both electronically and paper, starting Jan 30, the IRS said in a statement.
The IRS said it will be able to accept tax returns affected by the late Alternative Minimum Tax patch as well as the three major “extender” provisions for people claiming the state and local sales tax deduction, higher education tuition and fees deduction and educator expenses deduction.
The remaining households filing more complex returns should be able to start filing in late February on into March, the agency said, because those forms are still being revised. It said this group includes people claiming residential energy credits, depreciation of property or general business credits. Most of those in this group typically file closer to the April 15 deadline or obtain an extension. The deadline, by the way, has not changed. (Here is a list of IRS forms that 1040 filers can begin filing in late February or into March 2013).
IRS Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller said taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster by using e-file with direct deposit. More than 80 percent of taxpayers filed electronically last year.
The agency said it will not process returns before the anticipated Jan. 30 opening date.