Tax filing delays could result in tax return delays

Fiscal cliff decision puts IRS behind schedule

Published On: Jan 27 2013 10:52:25 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 27 2013 10:58:15 PM CST
tax rebate refund letter, IRS, Internal Revenue Service

Legislation that kept Congress from falling off the fiscal cliff didn't just raise taxes, it's also delaying when you can file and get your refund.

Tim Morrissey is always on top of his taxes, keeping careful records all year in order to file forms and receipts ahead of most people.

"I tend to write everything down right away," Morrissey said, "and put it into an ancient file thing that winds up in my computer."

Morrissey’s organized packet will go to Marshall Mennenga with Mennenga Tax & Financial. Mennenga already has stock piles of forms in his office, just waiting to be sent off to the IRS.

"They'll be in the file cabinet here and they'll be ready to file once we get the okay from the IRS to send them their way," Mennenga explained.

Mennenga said the start to this year's tax season is set for Wednesday, January 30. That's more than a week after the original day the IRS said people could begin filing. Mennenga mentioned the IRS may not accept returns with depreciation claims or energy credit deductions until March, and that the deadline for farmers, normally in March, has been extended to April 15.

While the filing frenzy may come later than usual, Mennenga said the April 15 deadline should remain intact.

Mennenga said a similar situation happened a couple of years ago when a late tax law decision put off the process for the IRS. His firm had to follow suit, saving the forms and returns until the IRS said it was time to file everything.

"It's always the fault of Congress," Mennenga said.

Mennenga said the IRS won’t even give taxpayers a date to expect their returns like they do in typical tax seasons. Instead, Mennenga said the IRS estimates a two to three week wait period, but even that is flexible.

"I don't think there's any doubt whatsoever that refunds will be delayed a little bit," Mennenga said.

For people like Morrissey, who doesn’t expect a return, procrastination is not an option with or without a change in the IRS schedule.

"Do it right away, then it's done, and you don't have to do it again," Morrissey said.