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Fiscal Cliff Threat Delays 2013 Tax Filings

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LAWTON Okla_ Today is the first official day for the tax filing season, but the recent fiscal cliff threat caused some significant delays in the filing process.

If you have filed your returns already, the IRS began processing them sometime after midnight. The debate over the fiscal cliff meant the IRS had to adjust their software because of some changes in the tax code. These delays have caused quite a bit of confusion.

The vast majority of tax filers, about 120 million households nation wide, have been given the green light. However, if you are filing one of the 30 forms on the list, you may have to wait until as late as March. One is for the education credit, which can be filed by college students or their parents.

7News Reporter Sara Whaley talked to the general manager of a local tax business who didn't even know about this until recently.

"We've actually filed some, and they've already been rejected," tax expert Roger Morton said. "Until that form is released, we can't send it in."

That form should be released by mid-February. You'll also have to wait for form 4562. This is for people who are self-employed and want money back on depreciating assets.

"One example is landscapers who have lawn mowers and stuff," Morton said. "Those are assets that will depreciate over time."

You won't be able to file for credit on those assets until late February or early March. You have the option to file your other taxes and then file an amendment later, but it will be a case-by-case situation.

"If it's over a majority of your refund, I am going to say you need to go ahead and wait until we get that form," Morton said.

Morton offered a piece of advice for those who may have to wait.

"Go ahead and bring all of your information in," Morton said. "So, once those forms are released, then we can send it in."

If you prepare them yourself, file what is available now, and then file an amendment when the others are released.

There are a couple other changes to note. Once the IRS does process your taxes, it will take up to 3 weeks to get your return. In the past, they said returns would be available in 1 to 2 weeks. If you live in Oklahoma, don't depend on a refund anticipation loan to get money now.  The state tightened regulations on those this year due to fraud. People living in Texas still might qualify.

An increase in fraud is also to blame for changes with the earned income credit.

The IRS will be asking you many more questions this year when you file for it.

Click here for the list of delayed forms.

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