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IRS Delay Announcement: No need to wait — 5 reasons to file your taxes now!

We’ve received confirmation that the IRS will not be processing individual income tax returns until January 30th for the vast majority of tax payers. Those claiming residential energy credits, depreciation of property or general business credits will be able to start filing in late February or early March.

That doesn’t mean you need to wait to file. Get your tax refund back as quickly as possible by filing your taxes now.

Reasons to file your taxes now:

1. TaxACT is accepting e-filed returns. TaxACT is up-to-date with all of the latest tax law changes.

2. Get your guaranteed maximum refund the fastest way possible. The fastest path to your IRS refund is to file your taxes now using TaxACT’s free e-file and choose direct deposit. We will hold your return and automatically e-file starting on January 30th.

3. Easy and convenient tax filing. It’s easier and faster than ever to prepare, print and e-file tax returns with TaxACT. Computer and tablet users can use their browsers to sign into their online returns 24/7. PC users can install TaxACT from a CD or download at www.taxact.com.

4. Step-by-step help from the experts. TaxACT provides instant, personalized help every step of the way in the enhanced Answer Center, online at taxact.com and with Audit Assistant. You can also email tax and audit questions to TaxPayer Support Specialists for free answers.

5. Free means free. All Americans, regardless of their income or the complexity of their returns, can prepare, print and e-file their 2012 federal taxes through the web or download version of TaxACT Free Federal Edition.

Get a head start on receiving your maximum tax refund by filing now.

Things you need to know from the IRS announcement:

  • The IRS will begin processing individual income tax returns on January 30th for the vast majority of taxpayers.
  • People claiming residential energy credits, depreciation of property or general business credits will be able to start filing in late February or early March.
  • The IRS will not process paper tax returns before the anticipated January 30th opening date for the majority of taxpayers. Taxpayers that have returns with forms not available until late February or early March will need to wait until the IRS systems are ready for paper returns.
  • The IRS will be able to accept tax returns affected by the late Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch as well as the three major “extender” provisions for people claiming the state and local sales tax deduction, higher education tuition and fees deduction and educator expenses deduction on the January 30th date.

The following is the full IRS announcement:

Following the January tax law changes made by Congress under the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA), the Internal Revenue Service announced today 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 on that date 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 that the vast majority of tax filers — more than 120 million households — should be able to start filing tax returns starting Jan 30.

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. Most of those in this group file more complex tax returns and typically file closer to the April 15 deadline or obtain an extension.

“We have worked hard to open tax season as soon as possible,” IRS Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller said. “This date ensures we have the time we need to update and test our processing systems.”

The IRS will not process paper tax returns before the anticipated Jan. 30 opening date. 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.

The opening of the filing season follows passage by Congress of an extensive set of tax changes in ATRA on Jan. 1, 2013, with many affecting tax returns for 2012. While the IRS worked to anticipate the late tax law changes as much as possible, the final law required that the IRS update forms and instructions as well as make critical processing system adjustments before it can begin accepting tax returns.

The IRS originally planned to open electronic filing this year on Jan. 22; more than 80 percent of taxpayers filed electronically last year.

Who Can File Starting Jan. 30?

The IRS anticipates that the vast majority of all taxpayers can file starting Jan. 30, regardless of whether they file electronically or on paper. The IRS will be able to accept tax returns affected by the late Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch as well as the three major “extender” provisions for people claiming the state and local sales tax deduction, higher education tuition and fees deduction and educator expenses deduction.

Who Can’t File Until Later?

There are several forms affected by the late legislation that require more extensive programming and testing of IRS systems. The IRS hopes to begin accepting tax returns including these tax forms between late February and into March; a specific date will be announced in the near future.

The key forms that require more extensive programming changes include Form 5695 (Residential Energy Credits), Form 4562 (Depreciation and Amortization) and Form 3800 (General Business Credit). A full listing of the forms that won’t be accepted until later is available on IRS.gov.

As part of this effort, the IRS will be working closely with the tax software industry and tax professional community to minimize delays and ensure as smooth a tax season as possible under the circumstances.