When Can You Begin Filing Your 2012 Federal Tax Return?

Most taxpayers will be able to file their tax returns by January 30, 2013. The IRS will begin processing returns filed by mail or via electronic filing on that date. Some taxpayers will have to wait until mid-February or as late as mid-March to file their returns.

Taxpayers claiming the American Opportunity Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit on Form 8863 will have to wait until mid-February. Taxpayers filing Form 1040 tax returns with depreciation calculations, tax credits related to energy efficiency, and certain types of business credits will need to wait until late-February to mid-March to file their returns.

The delay in the IRS processing returns is due to changes made by the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA), signed into law on January 2, 2013. The IRS states that the agency is “updating forms and completing programming and testing of its processing systems.”