IRS says tax season opens January 30 for 1040 filers

WASHINGTON - The IRS will begin accepting tax returns on Jan. 30 after updating forms and completing programming and testing of its processing systems.

It reflects the bulk of the late tax law changes enacted after the New Year. The announcement means that the vast majority of tax filers -- more than 120 million -- should be able to start filing tax returns on Jan. 30.

Those who don't file on that date -- including groups with residential energy credits, depreciation of property or general business -- will be able to begin filing in late February or into March because of the need for more extensive form and processing systems changes. Most of those in the listed groups file more complex tax returns and typically file closer to the April 15 deadline or obtain an extension.

"We have worked hard to open tax season as soon as possible," IRS acting commissioner Steven Miller said. "This date ensures we have the time we need to update and test our processing systems."

Taxpayers will get refunds faster by using e-file with direct deposit, Miller said.

The opening of the filing season follows passage by Congress of an extensive set of tax changes, with many affecting tax returns for 2012. While the IRS worked to anticipate the late tax law changes as much as possible, the final law required that the IRS update forms and instructions as well as make critical processing system adjustments before it can begin accepting tax returns.

The changes delayed the IRS from opening the filing season by one week. More than 80 percent of taxpayers filed electronically last year.

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