The Internal Revenue Service's plan to start electronic tax filing on Jan. 22 has been delayed.
IRS officials announced the 2013 filing season will start on Jan. 30. The delay comes from tax law changes made earlier this month by Congress under the American Taxpayer Relief Act. IRS officials said they anticipated late tax law changes, but the final legislation required that the government agency update forms, instructions and make critical processing system adjustments before accepting tax returns.
Richard Brostrom, Liberty Tax Services Jamestown branch owner, said, even with the delay, a majority of people will be able to start filing their returns on Jan. 30.
''The IRS did say most early season filer forms should be available by Jan. 30, and the IRS estimates approximately 90 percent of returns should be able to be filed on Jan. 30,'' he said.
Brostrom said people will also have to deal with a delay when it comes to how long it will take to have their refund deposited.
''In years past, the (electronic-file) season opened around the 15th of January. The IRS pushed hard to process and deposit refunds in eight to 15 days, if customers used direct deposit,'' he said. ''This year, the (electronic-filing) season starts two weeks later and refunds may take up to three weeks even with direct deposit.''
The IRS estimates that remaining households will be able to start filing in late February or into March because of the need for more extensive form and processing systems changes. This group includes people claiming residential energy credits, depreciation of property or general business credits. A full listing of the forms that won't be accepted until later is available on IRS.gov.
The IRS will not process paper tax returns before the anticipated Jan. 30 opening date. IRS officials said there is no advantage to filing on paper before the opening date, and taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster by using e-file with direct deposit. More than 80 percent of taxpayers filed electronically last year. The deadline to file is still April 15.