When Congress pass the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) on January 1, 2013 – they set a series of tax law changes into effect that has complicated the 2012 tax filing season for taxpayers and preparers alike.
In early January, following the ATRA’s passage, the IRS announced a delayed, January 30 start to the 2013 tax filing season. It also announced it would not start accepting business tax returns until February 4, and then even on a limited basis. The IRS then announced that because of the need for extensive form and processing systems changes, many taxpayers would not be able to file returns until March. The IRS published a list of forms that it would not be able to accept on January 30. Currently, there are still 29 forms that cannot be filed because they must be updated and systems for processing them tested. The IRS has said it will start accepting returns that include these delayed forms in the first week of March, but has not given a specific date.
While most of the delayed forms relate to various business tax credits, due to the fact that many businesses are pass-through entities, those delayed forms will have significant impact on individual returns as well (tax return preparers must first complete the business return before the owners’ returns can be completed).
The IRS is quick to grant extensions to filing deadlines for those impacted by various storms, i.e. Hugo, Katrina and Sandy. Why not grant a little relief for accountants and taxpayers impacted by Congress’ failure to act in a timely fashion?
The AICPA’s Tax Executive Committee has proposed some relief for filing penalties and estimated tax penalties, and one can only hope that the IRS give these proposals serious consideration.
At CDH, unlike our Congress, we strive to deliver timely and relevant information to our friends and clients so they can plan and manage their business affairs in a rapidly changing environment.