The 2012 tax filing season is set to launch in less than a week, and the IRS is priming taxpayers with some last minute tips on how the delayed filing season will kick off.
An IRS special edition tax tip was posted to irs.gov yesterday, and the agency said they still expect to be able to process most tax returns electronically come Jan. 30.
Tax season was originally penciled in to begin the 22 of this month. Although the IRS anticipated many of the year-end changes passed by Congress through the American Taxpayer Relief Act, the final law requires the IRS tweak some of their internal systems and software in order to process an anticipated 100 million electronically filed returns.
“We have worked hard to open tax season as soon as possible,” IRS Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller said. “This date ensures we have the time we need to update and test our processing systems.”
Many taxpayers use third-party software providers to prepare and file their tax returns. Although most major software providers will allow you to prepare and submit your return prior to the opening date, no returns will be processed before Jan. 30. Your return will be held in a queue by the provider, and then submitted en masse to the IRS at the end of this month.
Check with your commercial software provider for specific instructions. With a crush of returns flowing into the IRS on the 30 and 31 of this month, it may be advisable to wait and e-file the first week of Feb.
Nine out of 10 refunds were processed in less than 21 days last year, and the IRS expects to be able to deliver the same results this year, despite the late start. In order to combat fraud, stronger security measures are in place as well this filing season.
The IRS “Where’s my Refund?” tool can also be accessed starting Jan. 30. The tool is the easiest way for taxpayers to track the status of their refund.
For those who use the tool, the IRS asks you keep the following in mind:
- Information will be available approximately 24 hours after the return is received. Your software provider should notify you when your tax return is accepted.
- For a paper return, expect to receive information after approximately four weeks.
- The system is updated overnight; there is no need to check it multiple times during the day.
- The IRS will not have any additional information other than what is shown in the tool. Therefore, unless instructed, do not call the IRS.
- In order to use the tool, you will need your social security number, filing status and the exact dollar amount of your expected federal refund.
A guide to your 2012 tax documents