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Fiscal Cliff Legislation Leads to Tax Filing Delay

By Antonio Perez
Epoch Times Staff
Created: February 22, 2013 Last Updated: February 24, 2013
Related articles: Business » Economy & Trade
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This file photo shows US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms. A recent change in the tax code following a Congressional vote on the fiscal cliff has delayed filing and made it more complicated in 2013. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

This file photo shows US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms. A recent change in the tax code following a Congressional vote on the fiscal cliff has delayed filing and made it more complicated in 2013. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

Filing taxes has never been fun. This year it is even more of a headache as changes in the tax codes made the IRS scramble to update its systems and provide new tax forms, causing severe delays in filing.

“This is the worst year I’ve ever had,” Jim Rogers a Sacramento, Calif. based accountant told CBS. “I have not, since the first of February, gotten anything accomplished,” he added. “Everything has been in a holding pattern for some reason.”

The reason is provided by the IRS itself. “The delay in the finalization of the fiscal cliff budget caused the IRS to reprogram its systems and make changes in forms,” the agency said in a press release Jan. 9 which delayed the start of filing of any returns eight days to Jan. 30.

Tax filing has since started, but many forms are still not available, including form 8396 for Mortgage Credit and form 3800 for General Business Credit. They are expected to become available in the first week of March, according to the IRS. 

In a December letter, Commissioner Steven Miller warned Congress about the fallout from the fiscal cliff: “As we consider the impact of the current policy uncertainty on the upcoming tax filing season, it is becoming apparent that an even larger number of taxpayers—80 million to 100 million of the 150 million total returns expected to be filed—, may be unable to file.” 

“It’s been frustrating,” said Jim Rogers who hasn’t been able to complete a single tax return for one of his 100 clients since filing started at the end of January. 

The IRS so far has not moved the April 15 deadline for claiming tax refunds. Under normal circumstances, tax refunds are issued 21 days after electronic submission, which the IRS says is the “best option.”

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