Shorter tax filing season has some tax preparers scrambling, taxpayers waiting on income tax refunds

Tax preparers across the country are quickly getting into the busy time of the year: Tax season.

Filing was delayed this year because of the late passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act, a.k.a. the fiscal cliff tax bill.

After that, the IRS had to release new forms and configure its computer systems, and the software companies that make professional software had to hurry to get their programs up to date.

As a result, the IRS didn't allow filing to begin until January 30, and those with education and business credits or deductions had to wait even longer. This has some tax professionals backed up, particularly those who deal in high volumes of client returns.

Bryan Adams, an Enrolled Agent in Pleasantville, New Jersey, said he's had to lengthen his workday by "a couple of hours on each end." At the height of tax season, he says it's not uncommon for him to work 7 in the morning until 11 at night.

He recently told the The Press of Atlantic City that by the end of January his firm would usually have filed around 600 returns, but they had only completed a little more than 100.

The delay is frustrating not only to preparers, he said, but also to many tax payers who want their refund as soon as possible.

"You're talking an economy, especially in this area, where there's a huge amount of unemployed and underemployed. I'd say 80 percent of the clients really need that refund," Adams said.


[Some information from The Press of Atlantic City.]