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Many Business Tax Filers Can File for 2012 Starting Feb. 4

1.  Many Business Tax Filers Can File for 2012 Starting Feb. 4

Many businesses will be able to file their 2012 federal income tax returns starting Monday, Feb. 4. Filers of forms affected by January tax law changes will need to wait until late February or early March.

The Monday opening covers non-1040 series business returns for calendar year 2012, including  Form 1120  filed by corporations,Form 1120S filed by S corporations, 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 Feb. 4, there are a number of business forms still being updated for 2012. The IRS will announce soon when individual and business taxpayers can begin filing returns that include any of the delayed forms. Processing of these forms were delayed while the IRS completes programming and testing of its processing systems to reflect changes made by the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) enacted by Congress on Jan. 2.

A full list of the affected forms is available on

In addition to the forms listed on, 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.

Additional information will be posted soon on

2.  Hold Returns for those Taxpayers Who Would Benefit Most by Claiming Education Credits

The IRS announced on Monday that taxpayers filing Form 8863, to claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit can begin filing by the middle of February after the IRS updates its processing systems. The delayed start will have no impact on taxpayers claiming other education-related tax benefits, such as the tuition and fees deduction and the student loan interest deduction.

Filers who need to attach Form 8863 used to claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit to their tax return can prepare their return now but must wait to submit it in mid-February. This applies to paper and electronically filed Forms 8863.

As you guide taxpayers through the available education credits and deductions, in person or through the tax preparation software you use, please be sure to hold returns for those taxpayers who would benefit the most from waiting and filing the Form 8863, even though some taxpayers may be in a hurry to get a refund. Remember, taxpayers filing an amended return to claim an additional refund must wait until theyve received their original refunds. Also, keep in mind that an amended tax return cannot be filed electronically and normal processing time for Form 1040X is eight to 12 weeks from the IRS receipt date. We want taxpayers to claim the combination of education credits and deductions that is most advantageous to them.

Updated information will be posted on as it becomes available.

3.  IRS Extends Tax Relief to Some New Jersey and New York Victims of Hurricane Sandy; Return Filing and Tax Payment Deadline Extended to April 1

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Internal Revenue Service announced additional tax relief to affected individuals and businesses. The IRS today is further extending tax deadlines of that relief until April 1 for the following localities:

"  In New Jersey (starting Oct. 26): Monmouth and Ocean counties.
"  In New York (starting Oct. 27): Nassau, Queens, Richmond and Suffolk counties.

4.  IRS Kicks Off 2013 Tax Season

The Internal Revenue Service opened the 2013 filing season by announcing a variety of enhanced products and services to help taxpayers prepare and file their tax returns by the April 15 deadline.

5.  Instructions on How to Report Fuel Tax Credits

The American Taxpayer Relief Act, enacted Jan. 2, retroactively extends certain fuel tax credits that expired at the end of 2011.  These include the biodiesel mixture credit, biodiesel credit, alternative fuel credit and alternative fuel mixture credit. Generally, eligible taxpayers can now claim these credits on their federal excise tax returns, and if the credits exceed their excise tax liability, the excess can be claimed as a refund or income tax credit. Here are questions and answers on how to report. Note: Until further notice, any form claiming these credits must be filed on paper.

6.  IRS Combats Identity Theft and Refund Fraud on Many Fronts

Stopping identity theft and refund fraud is a top priority for the IRS. The agencys work on identity theft and refund fraud continues to grow, touching nearly every part of the organization. For the 2013 filing season, the IRS has expanded these efforts to better protect taxpayers and help victims.

7.  IRS Announces Eight New Members for Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee

The Internal Revenue Service announced the selection of eight new members for the Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC).

8.  IRS Announces New Advisory Council Members

The Internal Revenue Service announced the selection of six new members for the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC), which provides an organized public forum for IRS officials and representatives of the public to discuss key tax administration issues.

9.  IRS Adds Tumblr to Its List of Social Media Platforms

The Internal Revenue Service has added Tumblr to its list of social media platforms. People who want tax information now have another way of accessing helpful tax tips, videos, podcasts and more at Tumblr.

10.  YouTube: IRS Social Media

Find out how you can use social media to get connected with the Internal Revenue Service by watching this new YouTube video.

Watch this and other videos on the IRS YouTube Channel

11.  Technical Guidance

Notice 2013-03 provides for the allocation of the national limitation for qualified zone academy bonds among the States, the District of Columbia, and the possessions of the United States.

Notice 2013-03 will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2013-7 on February 11, 2013.

Revenue Ruling 2013-4 sets forth the prevailing state assumed interest rates that are used by insurance companies to determine their reserves under section 807 for contracts that are issued in 2012 and 2013. The ruling supplements, in part, Revenue Ruling 92-19.

Revenue Ruling 2013-4 will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2013-9, dated Feb. 25, 2013.

Notice 2013-05 provides for the waiver of additions to tax under section 6654(a) of the Internal Revenue Code for underpayment of estimated taxes for certain farmers and fishermen due to the delayed start for filing 2012 tax year returns.  The IRS issued a press release on January 18, 2013, which indicated that it will issue this guidance on this issue.  

Notice 2013-05 will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin2013-9 on February 25, 2013.