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How the Fiscal-Cliff Deal Affects Tax Season How the Fiscal-Cliff Deal Affects Tax Season

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Economy

How the Fiscal-Cliff Deal Affects Tax Season

(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

photo of Niraj Chokshi
January 8, 2013

Tax-filing season will be eight days later than planned this year thanks to the fiscal-cliff deal lawmakers passed last week, the Internal Revenue Service said on Tuesday afternoon.

The “vast majority” of taxpayers—more than 120 million people—will be able to start filing their returns on Jan. 30. Others, however, may have to wait until February or March while the IRS updates its computer systems and forms to accommodate changes to tax laws. 

Here are three provisions that the IRS needs more time to prepare:

 — The residential energy credits introduced in President Obama's 2009 stimulus for taxpayers who make energy-efficient improvements to their homes.

 

 — Deductions for depreciation or amoritization of property.

 — General business credits.

Here are four of the cliff deal’s provisions that won't affect the IRS’s ability to process returns on Jan. 30:

 — The fix to the alternative minimum tax, which was initially intended to ensure the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes but would have ensnared a huge number of middle-class Americans.

 —The deductions for state and local sales taxes.

 —The deduction for the cost of higher education.
 —The deduction for educator expenses, which lets teachers and other educators deduct taxes on up to $250 worth of classroom materials.

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