When can returns be filed this year?

The IRS has sent out a notice that it will begin processing income tax returns and accepting electronically filed tax returns on January 30, 2013.  This is 8 days later than the original plan.  This delay was caused by the recently passed tax law changes which came too late for the IRS to modify its computer programming and update the forms in time to accept returns before January 30.  By itself, this does not inconvenience many of us taxpayers as most of us do not receive all the information necessary to prepare our tax returns prior to February 1.

Of larger inconvenience is the fact that the IRS has said that certain forms will still not be available then and they will not have them ready for filing until late February or perhaps even until sometime in March.  Returns which have those forms cannot be filed electronically until the IRS decides they can be filed.  They may not be paper filable until the forms are ready either.  The most significant form they say will not be available is the depreciation form, but there are also a number of other mostly business related forms.  Almost all of us who have rental property or have business activities reported on our tax returns have a depreciation form.  So the lack of these forms could inconvenience many of us.

Most significantly, those of you who are farmers and must file your returns by March 1 to avoid penalties for late payment of estimated payments could have a problem if you cannot file your return because the IRS forms are not yet ready.  The IRS has not said if they will offer an extension to farmers because of this yet.  Hopefully they will.


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