Less time to file tax return - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Less time to file tax return

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

If you were hoping for a quick refund from Uncle Sam to pay some holiday bills, you're officially out of luck.

How's this for irony? The IRS – famous for advising taxpayers not to procrastinate – has extended its own deadline for the start of tax season.

"That means that people aren't going to be able to start filing even the simplest return until January 30th," said CPA Bob Martin.

And complicated returns? Fuhgedaboudit! There's a whole list of IRS forms for deductions and tax credits that haven't even been updated yet.

Martin says about one out of five taxpayers has a complicated tax return. And they may not be able to file until February or March.

"First of all, the IRS computers have to be reprogrammed," explained Martin. "Then there are the software companies that prepare the tax returns that go into the IRS computers."

People love to hate the IRS. But this isn't their fault. You can blame it on an institution that people like even less than the IRS: Congress.

"The real problem was with Congress for waiting so long to decide what the tax laws were going to be for 2012 and 2013," said Bob Martin.

If you were planning to pay off holiday credit card debt with your refund, he advises, at least still make the minimum payment.

And try to steer clear of borrowing against your now-delayed refund.

"Take a close look before you get something like a refund anticipation loan or a payday loan," said the tax accountant. "Because they have very high rates of interest and it may not be worth it."

Of course, there is one deadline that is not being pushed back and it is perhaps the most important one: April 15th. The day taxes are due.

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