Expect delays filing taxes
JANESVILLE--If you’re feeling a little unsure about sorting through paperwork to file your 2012 tax return and get 2013 off to an organized start, you’re not alone.
“This tax season has been very unusual,” said Jim Bartlett, the owner of three Liberty Tax franchises in Rock County.
It started Jan. 3 when Congress passed revisions to the 2012 budget, Bartlett said. That left the IRS working backward to make changes before the agency could start accepting tax returns, he said.
The taxes themselves didn’t change much between 2011 and 2012, Bartlett said. Most taxpayers will see little difference between their returns those years, he said.
The process of filing returns and distributing refunds has changed, Bartlett said.
One noticeable change is the timing, Bartlett said. The IRS didn’t start accepting 2012 tax returns until Jan. 30. That’s about two weeks later than normal, he said.
Some forms are delayed even longer. For example, folks who plan to file for education credits should expect to wait until mid-February at the soonest, Bartlett said. People who want to claim a depreciation credit also will have to wait, he said.
Those delays can cause challenges for professional tax preparers, said Pete Wautlet, a partner with Baker Tilly in Janesville. Returns that are complete can pile up until the IRS is ready to accept them, he said.
Another change in the 2012 tax return filing process is in the way the IRS worded the explanation of how long it would take to get refunds, Bartlett said. In past years, returns were filed weekly on Fridays, and refunds were expected within eight to 15 days, he said.
This year, the IRS has said simply the refund will be sent in less than 21 days, he said.
Looking forward into 2013, most of the changes will affect high-income families, Bartlett said.
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