2013 filing season opens Jan. 30
Following the January tax law changes made by Congress under the American Taxpayer Relief Act, the Internal Revenue Service announced it plans to open the 2013 filing season and begin processing individual income tax returns on Jan. 30.
The IRS will begin accepting tax returns after updating forms and completing programming and testing of its processing systems. This will reflect the bulk of the late tax law changes enacted Jan. 2. The announcement means the vast majority of tax filers -- more than 120 million households -- should be able to start filing tax returns starting Jan 30, representatives said.
"We have worked hard to open tax season as soon as possible," IRS Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller said in a statement. "This date ensures we have the time we need to update and test our processing systems."
The IRS estimates that remaining households will be able to start filing in late February or 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. Most of those in this group file more complex tax returns and typically file closer to the April 15 deadline or obtain an extension.
The IRS will not process paper tax returns before Jan. 30. 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.
"The best option for taxpayers is to file electronically," Miller said.
More than 80 percent of taxpayers filed electronically last year.
The opening of the filing season follows passage by Congress of an extensive set of tax changes in the American Taxpayer Relief Act on Jan. 1, with many affecting tax returns for 2012. It required the IRS to update forms and instructions, as well as make critical processing system adjustments before accepting tax returns.
For more information, visit IRS.gov.