Your tax returns may be delayed because of fiscal cliff deal - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Your tax returns may be delayed because of fiscal cliff deal

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - While a deal to avert the fiscal cliff has been passed, we may still see some repercussions from Congress waiting so long to finalize that deal. Because it was so late, it may have an impact on your tax return.

If you're hoping for an early tax return from Uncle Sam, you may have to wait longer than usual.

Until the IRS releases their final forms and then allows e-file, we kind of end up sitting and waiting until we can actually file those forms," says Tanya Malaney, a C.P.A. with Wipfli.

The problem? The I.R.S. can't put out those forms until the agency knows exactly what the tax policy is. Congress didn't approve it until January first, with the fiscal cliff deal.

"Because they were trying to fix that problem, all of these 2012 lingering things became a part of that problem. Those things typically are taken care of in the fall," says Malaney.

It's not unusual for some parts of the tax policy to not be finalized before the first of the year.

"This year was unique in that we had sort of a much larger issue that was affecting every taxpayer in the country, versus most years it's just those little extenders that maybe it's a research credit that's being extended," Malaney says.

And it's not the first time this has happened. Two years ago, congress was in a similar bind.

"They did a two-year extension because it was done so late, so this year the same thing happened. It was done so late that most of those extenders now have been extended for two years so at least a year from now we won't be waiting for that same legislation," says Malaney.  

Wipfli advises taxpayers to start preparing their returns now, even if you can't submit them yet. That way you're prepared once the rush starts. The I.R.S. has not said when final tax forms will be released.

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