It's Tax Season (Sort of)

So with the Super Bowl over, and pitchers and catchers reporting next week, these are the signs that tax season is in full swing, right? Wrong; depending on your situation. You still may not be able to file your 2012 tax return and get your refund, or resolve your tax debt.  Based on the last-minute shenanigans in Washington D.C. to avoid falling of the fiscal cliff, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is still preparing their systems to accept the remaining tax forms affected by the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) enacted by Congress on January 2, 2013.

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that taxpayers will be able to start filing two major tax forms next week covering education credits and depreciation. Beginning Sunday, February 10, 2013, the IRS will start processing tax returns that contain Form 4562, Depreciation and Amortization. Then, on Thursday, February 14, 2013, the IRS plans to start processing Form 8863, Education Credits. With these updates, almost all taxpayers may start filing their tax returns for 2012. These forms affected the largest groups of taxpayers who weren’t able to file following the abbreviated January 30, 2013, opening of the 2013 tax season.

However, more updates are still required to accommodate all taxpayers and tax forms. The remaining forms affected by the January 2013 legislation are anticipated to be accepted during the first week of March 2013.  A specific date will be announced later by the IRS. So, don’t delay, if you can help it, to get your taxes completed.


The IRS' Daily Routine

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What are some of the things you do on a daily basis?  Brush your teeth, check your email, read a favorite book?  Even though it may not be apparent to most of us, the IRS actually has a daily routine too: processing tax returns.

But this wasn’t always so.  Before 2005 the IRS operated on a weekly processing schedule.  In other words, what showed up in IRS computer systems could be out of synch with what was sitting on somebody’s desk for up to a week at a time.

TIGTA recently audited the IRS’ daily return processing performance with favorable results.  However, it is still a work in progress; there are certain tax returns with “qualifiers” (or codes) that prevent daily processing.  Some of the qualifiers include:

  •  identity theft
  • bankruptcy
  • pending litigation
  • Offer in Compromise pending
  • Currently Not Collectible status
  • underreporter issues
  • tax return adjustments

Coincidentally, the presence of some of these same disqualifying factors are also what tend to hold things up on the collections side of things when seeking tax relief.