Fiscal Cliff Changes Delay Tax Season Opening until Jan. 30


Don’t send your tax returns to the IRS just yet. Thanks to the changes made to the imaginatively named American Taxpayer Relief Act during the fiscal cliff negotiations, the agency is pleading for your patience while it tweaks its forms and re-programs its computers.

Pushing the opening of tax filing season back about a week to Jan. 30 should give the printers and programmers sufficient time to begin handling the first wave of returns expected from some 120 million households. But before you start feeling too warm and fuzzy about the tax collector, make no mistake—the April 15 final filing deadline will not be stretched.

It’s important to note that the IRS will not process payer tax returns before the opening date. There’s no advantage to filing on paper before then, it says, stressing that refunds will be delivered much faster if remitters use the “E-file” system with direct deposit.

“The best option for taxpayers is to file electronically,” urges IRS Acting Commission Steven Miller.

While the vast majority of taxpayers should be able to begin filing Jan. 30, the agency estimates many who must file the more extensive forms claiming general business credits, depreciation of property or breaks for residential energy usage (Forms 3800, 4562 and 5695, respectively) may not be able get their returns in until late February or March. (A full listing of forms is available at

Once you’ve completed your 2012 tax paperwork, take a moment to add one more item to your to-do list. While you’re still sitting at your desk or kitchen table, take a couple of sheets of your business letterhead and in your neatest handwriting, encourage your members of Congress to seriously begin the effort to once and for all truly reform the U.S. Tax Code.

Remind them that Congress has constantly tinkered with the code, making nearly 5,000 changes—an average of one a day—since 2001. The bloated volume of law has grown to include nearly four million words.

Encourage those who represent you on Capitol Hill to read the latest report from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson that was released in early January. This in-house government official says the most serious problem facing you and millions of other taxpayers is—you guessed it–the tax code’s unbelievable complexity.

If they don’t read anything else, urge them to study her comments on tax reform. The code imposes an “unconscionable burden on taxpayers,” she writes, emphasizing that nearly 60 percent hire paid preparers and another 30 percent must depend on software that costs $50 or more.

“In other words, taxpayers must spend money just to figure out how much money they owe,” she stated.

For many years, NFIB has been urging Congress to engage in tax reform and we will not stop until it’s done. That’s why your letters to lawmakers are just as important as your completed tax return. They both are important to the effective governing of America.

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About Dan Danner

Donald A. "Dan" Danner was named president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation's leading small business association, in February, 2009. Danner is only the sixth president in the history of the organization. Before rising to the top spot, Danner was executive vice president, overseeing NFIB's federal and state public policy and political activities as well as the organization's three 501 (c) 3 operations: the Research Foundation, Small Business Legal Center and the Young Entrepreneur Foundation. He came to NFIB in 1993 as vice president of the NFIB Education Foundation (now known as the Young Entrepreneur Foundation) and was named vice president of federal public policy in 1995. Previously, he was chief of staff to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Danner also worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison, where he was special assistant to the president and deputy director of the department. Before joining the White House staff, Danner was an executive with Armco Inc., a steel manufacturing company. He held leadership positions in sales and marketing, as well as state and federal lobbying on issues such as energy, environment, taxes and trade. He also served four years as vice president of federal relations at George Mason University. A native of Middletown, Ohio, Danner holds an MBA degree from Xavier University and an electrical engineering degree from Purdue University.
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One Response to Fiscal Cliff Changes Delay Tax Season Opening until Jan. 30

  1. Thank you for taking a stand for tax reform. A simplified system would encourage investment and reduce avoidance.

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