IRS delay could push back tax returns

The IRS is still finishing forms with tax information for this year.
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Your tax refund may be delayed this year. Although the fiscal cliff has been averted, the after-effects will change when you get your money.

Less than two weeks into the new year, it's still quiet at many tax preparers' offices, but in the past week, "We get phone calls all day long," said John Peck with H & R Block.

The one question every caller has been having?

"When will I be able to get my money? That's probably the major one," explained Peck.

The answer to that question will be different for everyone depending on what kind of credits you claim this year.

That's because the IRS is still updating some of its forms to reflect late tax law changes enacted by Congress January 2.

"They needed more to time to get their system set up, because a lot of things were extended this year that were due to expire, so that had to reprogram their information," said Peck.

Right now, the IRS isn't even accepting returns until January 30. That means the soonest someone could get their money back is mid-February.

That could be even later, though, as tax preparers wait for the IRS to rework some forms, like the one for homeowners who spend money to make their home more energy efficient.

"The energy credit is being completely revamped, because it expired. We really don't know exactly how its going to be applied," said Peck.

That doesn't mean you can't get your taxes started now, though, if you already have your W-2s. If you're waiting on any forms from the IRS, though, like the schedule D form for stock gains or losses due out January 17, you might have to make another trip to your tax preparer.

"It's possible you may have to come back to sign things if a form is not available in the system that should be on your return," explained Peck.

Either way, your money's coming, it just may not be as soon as you'd like.