Finally! IRS has all forms in place, is accepting all income tax returns

Forget the Sequester ... it's time to put the final nail in the coffin of the problems the Fiscal Cliff caused.

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it has finished updating its tax-processing systems allowing all remaining individual and business taxpayers to file their 2012 federal income tax returns.

The agency had to postpone the start of filing season by 10 days this year because the last-minute "Fiscal Cliff" tax deal required it to make changes to forms and the software programs that process those forms.

Over the March 2, 2013 weekend, the IRS completed reprogramming and testing of its systems for tax-year 2012 including all remaining updates required by the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) enacted by Congress in January.

This final step clears the way for those claiming residential energy credits on Form 5695 and various business tax credits and deductions to file their returns.

The IRS began accepting 2012 returns in phases as it worked quickly to update various forms and instructions and made critical adjustments to its processing systems to reflect the current law.

As a result, the agency began accepting most returns filed by individual taxpayers on Jan. 30. Additional returns could be accepted in February. All remaining returns, affecting in relative terms the smallest group of taxpayers, can now be filed.

With just six weeks to go before this year’s April 15 deadline, the IRS reminds taxpayers that the best way to file an accurate return is to e-file, choose direct deposit if expecting a refund and take advantage of the wide variety of tax-filing and tax-help resources available on IRS.gov.

People who need more time to finish their returns can easily get an automatic six-month tax-filing extension by going to the Free File link or filing Form 4868.

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