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When Will IRS Begin Processing 2012 Tax Returns?

The agency is retooling after the massive 'fiscal cliff' legislation.

The IRS has served notice that most U.S. income tax filers can begin filing 2012 tax returns on January 30, 2013. The timetable had been questioned because of the so-called fiscal cliff legislation signed into law earlier in January.

According to Forbes magazine, the nation's bill collector says it will begin processing tax returns for most filers at the end of January.

There are forms and instructions to revamp, as well as computers to retool. Although the IRS says that it worked to anticipate Congress’ changes, the new law required the IRS to do considerable updating and processing before starting the annual tax routine.

However, some taxpayers will need to wait until late February or March. These would include people claiming residential energy credits, depreciation of property or general business credits.

The IRS says you can file electronically or on paper, but it prefers the former method. More than 80 percent of taxpayers filed electronically in 2012.

-- How will the "fiscal cliff" compromise affect your 2012 taxes? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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