- Days left

Ready for Your Tax Refund? The IRS Is Finally Ready for Your Tax Return

×
A jogger runs past the US Internal Revenue Service building on Constitution Avenue.  Photo by Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)Millions of Americans count on getting their tax refunds as soon as possible after the New Year begins. But thanks to Congress, ASAP wasn't all that soon this year. However, though the recent tax-law changes raised some concerns about delays in filing and getting refunds, the IRS has worked through the changes and is ready to start taking all of our tax returns.

Back in late December, it looked as though the vast majority of taxpayers might be in for long waits before getting their refunds. As the fiscal-cliff debate rolled on until after the New Year's deadline, the IRS warned that 100 million taxpayers could face delays as a result of potential major changes to the tax laws.

Fortunately, the deal that was reached avoided some of the biggest potential changes. Most important, it set in place a permanent inflation adjustment for the alternative minimum tax.

Instead of an estimated 30 million taxpayers getting pulled into the AMT framework (which was originally intended to ensure the wealthy couldn't dodge their entire tax bills), the fiscal-cliff deal raised AMT exemption amounts and indexed them to inflation for future years. Because the IRS had predicted those changes, that removed one big task from its to-do list for the 2013 tax season, and tens of millions of taxpayers who might have suffered delays didn't.

Which Changes Caused Delays?

Still, plenty of changes did require IRS action that forced taxpayers taking advantage of special provisions to wait before filing.

Students were among those affected: Taxpayers claiming the Lifetime Learning or American Opportunity Tax Credits had to wait until mid-February before they were able to file. Although other perks, including student loan interest and higher-education tuition deductions, were available earlier, the credits often produce larger tax savings. Similarly, changes to laws governing business property required taxpayers to wait if they claimed depreciation deductions.

As March began, some taxpayers were still waiting for the IRS to provide what they needed. The forms needed to claim the residential energy credit for various energy-efficient home improvements, as well as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and general business credits for employers, weren't expected to be ready until early in March.

Tick Tock

Unfortunately, until you file your return, you can't start counting down the days until you get your refund. Filing your tax return electronically and choosing to have your refund direct deposited can speed up the arrival of your refund, but for many who've already had to suffer through these delays, every extra day is an additional hardship that they're hoping will end soon.

Photo Credit: Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Getting out of debt

Everyone hates debt. Get out of it.

View Course »

Goal Setting

Want to succeed? Then you need goals!

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Tax Tips for the Blind

Anyone whose field of vision falls at or below 20 degrees, who wears corrective glasses but whose vision is 20/200 or less in his best eye, or who has no eyesight at all, meets the legal definition of being blind and is eligible for certain tax deductions.

What is Form 4255: Recapture of Investment Credit?

When is a tax credit not a tax credit? When the IRS takes it back. If you're in the situation where you have to file IRS Form 4255, you might have to pay back a tax credit you've earned in prior years. This process, known as recapture, occurs if you claim a credit -- in this case, a credit for a specific type of business investment -- and then no longer qualify for that credit.

The Most Important Tax Forms for ALEs (Applicable Large Employers)

In 2015, some parts of the Affordable Care Act specifically apply to businesses, in particular, large employers. The Employer Shared Responsibility provisions affect companies with 50 or more full-time employees or an equivalent of part-time or seasonal workers. These companies are called Applicable Large Employers, or ALEs. 2015 is considered a transition year as everyone gets used to the new normal for workplace health plans.

Employer Sponsored Health Coverage Explained

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is simpler than some people may give it credit for. The basic rule to remember is that everyone must carry Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) or pay a penalty. Employers with 50 full-time employees or more are obligated to sponsor plans for their workers to help them meet this requirement.

How to Report RSUs or Stock Grants on Your Tax Return

Restricted stock units (RSUs) and stock grants are often used by companies to reward their employees with an investment in the company rather than with cash. As the name implies, RSUs have rules as to when they can be sold. Stock grants often carry restrictions as well. How your stock grant is delivered to you, and whether or not it is vested, are the key factors when determining tax treatment.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

2 Comments

Filter by:
scottee

if we had a small national sales tax, congress would probably get more money than even they could spend....and the 73,000 pages of punishments and favors that is the current tax code could be scrapped. and the rich would pay more because they can buy more...

March 07 2013 at 9:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to scottee's comment
cpo1514

But, the WH would not have control of the masses... nice try... not good for Socialists

March 08 2013 at 10:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply