Delayed tax season should not be cause to delay your tax preparation! If so, you could be "too late".

Although the IRS officially opened the 2013 tax filing season this week, the IRS also announced several days ago that the filing season is also officially a delayed filing season if you need to use certain tax forms.  But the delayed tax season should not cause those of you to procrastinate.  Here is why.

There will be delays in IRS acceptance of certain tax returns, even as late as March.  On January 2 Congress dropped a whopping Fiscal Cliff tax package onto the IRS (American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012).  This means lots and lots of tax software re-programming that could not have been predicted by the IRS in advance.  (Almost makes one feel sorry for the IRS - almost.)  Which has led to a delay in the IRS being able to provide the final forms on which to calculate the new tax deductions and tax credits.  And thus far the IRS has not been able to accept tax returns from most businesses tax payers and individual tax payers.  IRS has announced they began accepting individual tax returns on January 30, and business tax returns will be February 4, but only if those returns do not involve the delayed forms.  There is a list of the troublesome forms - 31 of them at last count.  The delayed forms that will cause the most trouble for taxpayers will be:

Form 4562:  Depreciation and Amortization.  This form is used by individuals and businesses alike.  If you purchased and placed in service buildings or equipment, you will need to use this form.

Form 8863:  Education Credits, used to claim, well of course education credits.

Form 5695:  Residential Energy Credits.  The $500 credit for energy improvements to your home.

Form 4136:  Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels,  used by some farmers and fishermen.

Form 8582:  Passive Activity Loss Limitations.  If you own real estate rental properties, then this one needs to be in your return.

By not having forms and reprogramming complete, likely until mid March,  is the reason the IRS needed to extend the filing season for farmers and fishermen from March 1 to April 15.  This is not good news.

The good news is that our software is ready (without delay) to prepare your tax returns.  What to do?  Don’t delay.  Turn your tax information over to your CPA as you normally would.  Why?  Because while the IRS is still programming, our systems and programs are ready to go.  Our federal and state tax software systems are ready to prepare tax returns.  We need to keep you on schedule as in the past.  If you use the IRS delay as a reason for you to delay, you may be "too late".  You might get caught in a deadline crunch.  If all of our clients expected their returns to be prepared after the IRS finalized their forms and software, we would not be able to get them all filed on time – resulting in unnecessary delays and extensions.

 So, please don’t delay your or our tax season.  

Remember, you can get monthly tax alerts in your email inbox as well.