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.

Sponsored Links
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

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.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

What Is a 1099-G Tax Form?

The most common use of the 1099-G is to report unemployment compensation as well as any state or local income tax refunds you received that year.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Video: What Are Itemized Tax Deductions?

Itemized tax deductions can help save you even more money during tax season if your deductions exceed the standard amount. Learn about itemizing your tax deductions with help from TurboTax in this video on annual tax filing.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Filing Tax Form 2441: Child and Dependent Care Expenses

There are a number of eligibility requirements you must satisfy before potentially receiving a child or dependent care credit, so it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules before preparing Form 2441.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story
Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.