Early Tax Returns in Jeopardy

Congressional stalling on Alternative Minimum Tax patch may force IRS delay
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 2, 2007 2:55 PM CST
Tax time looms, but the IRS may have to delay returns.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – 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. (Read more income tax stories.)