Monday, January 7, 2013

IRS Issues Statement On Tax Legislation, Makes No Promises About Start Of Tax Season

So about that new tax deal… The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) doesn’t have much to say, so far, it seems. On their website, they have this headline, IRS Statement on Jan. 1 Tax Legislation Passed by Congress, which sounds promising, right? Until, of course, you read the statement which says this:

How some income tax preparers are
feeling waiting for the news from the IRS
 "The IRS is currently reviewing the details of this week’s tax legislation and assessing what impact it will have on this year’s filing season. The IRS will soon make available additional information on when taxpayers can start filing 2012 tax returns."

No, I didn’t skip over anything. That’s the whole statement. There’s apparently not a lot to say at this point.

I don’t, of course, blame IRS for this fiasco. With the tax season officially kicking off on January 22, 2013, it couldn’t have passed anyone’s notice – even those in Congress – that giving an agency less than three weeks’ notice about how to administer returns for 140 million taxpayers (give or take a million) is, to put it mildly, optimistic.

I know what you’re thinking: the tax deal was for 2013, so what’s the hold up for 2012?

The hold up is that the tax deal did more than a few things retroactively. The most significant move was fixing the alternative minimum tax (AMT). While the focus on the AMT in the press was for 2013 and forward, for taxpayers, it was for 2012. Congress didn’t patch the AMT after 2011 which meant that the lower thresholds applied; in simple terms, an additional 30 million taxpayers were to be subject to the AMT without a fix.

This article has several other great points and you should definitely give it a read:

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