Update Monday March 4, 2013 - The IRS is now accepting all 2012 individual and business tax returns.
The IRS announced on January 8, 2013 that the 2013 tax season will open on January 30, 2013. It was originally going to be January 22, 2013. In addition, taxpayers filing business or rental schedules who need to claim depreciation on Form 4562 will not be able to file until late February or March. There are several other tax forms that also cannot be filed until late February or March. The IRS has published a full list of these forms.
The IRS will announce when the affected business or rental returns can be filed.
The delay in the start of the filing season is a result of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 only being passed on January 2, 2013. The IRS needs more time to update their forms and systems as a result of the various items passed in the Act.
There will be no advantage to filing a paper return before these dates as the IRS will not process paper returns any earlier.
If you are ready to file before January 30, 2013 then your tax preparer can still prepare your return but it will not be filed until January 30, 2013 at the earliest.
Similarly, if you a need to file a return with business or rental income before the end of February it will be possible to file without any depreciation for additions in 2012. An amended return could then be filed in March or early April to claim the depreciation. That might be worth doing if a significant refund will be held up or you have issues with other people claiming dependents and you want to file before them. Please note, if you do this your tax preparer will probably charge for preparing the amended return. You will need to evaluate the benefit of doing this compared to the additional cost.
Disclaimer – This article does not constitute personal tax advice to the reader and is only offering general information. You should seek professional advice for your own situation as the most appropriate tax planning depends on your personal and unique circumstances.