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Fiscal Cliff to Delay 2013 Tax Returns

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LAWTON, Okla_Congress saved the country from falling off the so called fiscal cliff, but the fate of your tax returns remains uncertain. Due to the last minute agreement, the IRS has been left scrambling trying to make changes to tax forms for the upcoming tax season. This could cause the filing date to be pushed back and in return, could delay the distribution of tax refunds.

Roger Morton of Liberty Tax in Lawton has gotten lots of calls from clients wondering then they will be able to start filing their taxes. While he has been able to start making estimates, the truth is, because the IRS hasn't even printed a tax form yet, he has not been able to give his clients a firm answer.

Many, like Morton, are wondering if this year's tax season will be a huge headache, but for now it is in the hands of the IRS.

"They're actually still trying to get the actual forms produced, " said Morton.

This is not the first time this has happened. In fact, just two years ago there was a delay in the start of the tax season, but this year is looking to be a little worse.

"Really it seems whenever they come into a lame-duck session of Congress that's when they have those last minute deals. During the years like this past tax season they did have small delay but not as drastic as this one, " Morton explained.

So far the guideline has been as follows: E-Filing can be done starting January 22nd. Which is really only a couple of days later than normal, but because the forms are still not printed or distributed, the IRS may push the date back even later.

What all of this means is, the later the filing date, the longer it will take for tax refunds to be distributed.

"The ones who can wait a little bit longer it's not going to be as effective on them, they'll be able to get all the files and forms straightened out by then. But those who are ready and need the money as quick as possible those are gonna be the ones affected the most, " said Morton.

Morton encourages those who can wait until February or later to file should try and do so. The longer everyone waits to file, the more time the IRS will have to work out the kinks, and the less time everyone will wait to get their refunds.

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