If you're planning to file for an early tax refund this year, don't count on it. Congress has dragged its feet in creating a patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax that could make the IRS postpone filing season several weeks, the AP reports. A limit on who's affected by the AMT expires this year; if it's not extended, 19 million taxpayers will owe an average $2,000 more in income tax.
Even if Congress acts quickly, 38 million early filers expecting $87 billion in refunds could be confused about their status; the IRS says processing erroneous early returns could “delay the whole filing system.” Already, tax form printing has been delayed. It’s a nightmare for tax advisers. "It's like playing a round of golf and then finding out that the rules have changed,” said one.