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Last-minute fiscal cliff deal could delay some tax returns

2:13 AM, Jan 3, 2013   |    comments
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Last-minute fiscal cliff deal could delay tax returns

Lawmakers reached a last-minute deal to avert the fiscal cliff this week, but the drawn out political fight could delay tax returns for millions of Americans.

The IRS offered this emailed statement to 10News on Wednesday:

"The IRS is currently reviewing the details of this week's tax legislation and assessing what impact it will have on this year's filing season. The IRS will soon make available additional information on when taxpayers can start filing 2012 tax returns as well as updated withholding tables for employers and payroll companies."

Many tax experts expect IRS will need extra time to update its system, which could delay the filing season and when many people get their returns.

Knoxville CPA Van T. Elkins said a delay likely could have been avoided.

"If they don't fix these things in November then the IRS just doesn't have enough time to fix their system, get the forms out, make sure everything is as it should be," Elkins said. "So it's really a disservice to the American public for this to go this long."

Like many other CPAS, Elkins is now picking through the details of the bill in order to better understand how it will impact 2012 filings and returns. He says it is important to determine whether smaller deductions, which were extended in previous years, will be included again.

"If its a small number that were not included, then the delay will be very small. If there's a large number of those, then the IRS is going to have to do some major reprogramming and there could be a substantial delay."

However, many of the changes are still unknown. Elkins predicts a more simple tax filing will result in a quicker return.

"Those people that don't have itemized deductions, that take a standard deduction they are probably going to be able to file... by the 15th, 20th, or 25th of January." he said. "But if you've got itemized deductions then those could take a little longer."

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