Many Businesses Can Start Filing Income Tax Returns Feb. 4

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While they may want to put it off even further, the IRS announced that many businesses will be able to file their 2012 federal income tax returns starting Monday, Feb. 4. However, the IRS also notes that filers of some forms that were affected by January tax law changes in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) will need to wait until late February or early March.

(The IRS began accepting individual income tax returns on Jan. 30, an eight-day delay resulting from the late passage of ATRA. For a comprehensive look at the tax changes for clients prompted by ATRA—the law that brought the U.S. back from the fiscal cliff—view this blog posting by William Byrnes and Robert Bloink on AdvisorOne.)

The February 4th opening, the IRS said, covers non-1040 series business returns for calendar year 2012, including Form 1120 filed by corporations, Form 1120S filed by S corps, Form 1065 filed by partnerships, Form 990 filed by exempt organizations, and most users of Form 720 , Quarterly Excise Tax Return. This includes both electronic filers and paper filers.

While many businesses will be able to file starting February 4th, there are a number of business forms still being updated for 2012. Processing of these forms has been delayed while the IRS completes programming and testing of its processing systems to reflect changes made by ATRA, enacted by Congress on January 2. Many of these tax forms will be accepted by the IRS in late February or into March; the IRS promised it will announce the specific dates.

A list of the affected forms that tayxpayers can start filing in mid-February is available on IRS.gov.

In addition to the forms listed on IRS.gov, filing of two other business forms is affected by the delay, but only for electronic filers. Businesses using Form 720 and filling out lines 13 and 14 cannot file yet electronically, but they can file on paper. Other Forms 720 are being accepted electronically. In addition, Form 8849 Schedule 3, Claim for Refund of Excise Taxes, is not currently being accepted electronically, but it can be filed on paper.

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