Sequestration 2013 arrives today, but if things go as the Internal Revenue Service plans, most taxpayers shouldn't notice.
This filing season already has been crazy, delayed for weeks because of late passage of fiscal cliff tax laws that required the updating of IRS forms and its computer system.
Then came sequester, $85 billion in broad automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect at 11:59 p.m. today, March 1. To meet the mandated reductions, which cover the last seven months of the 2013 fiscal year, most federal agencies, including the IRS, will have to make do for a while with fewer employees.
But IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller told all IRS employees via email yesterday that sequester necessitated furloughs won't happen until after tax-filing season. Postponing the temporary layoffs, Miller said, will ensure that IRS personnel will "continue to deliver for the nation's taxpayers."
That's good news for taxpayers who have filed and are awaiting return processing so they can get their refunds.
A fully-staffed tax agency also is good news for taxpayers who haven't been able to file yet because they need some of the forms that the IRS has been revising.
More forms, finally! Most of the most-popular tax forms were available when the agency started accepting returns on Jan. 30.
Taxpayers filling out tax forms at the Internal Revenue office circa 1920. (via Wikimedia Commons)
In mid-February, the forms required to claim depreciation and education tax credits were ready.
And this weekend, the IRS says it will finalize updates to the remaining 29 forms it had to update for this filing season. They are:
- Form 3800, General Business Credit
- Form 4136, Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels
- Form 5074 Allocation of Individual Income Tax to Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
- Form 5471, Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations
- Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits
- Form 5735, American Samoa Economic Development Credit
- Form 5884, Work Opportunity Credit
- Form 6478, Credit for Alcohol Used as Fuel
- Form 6765, Credit for Increasing Research Activities
- Form 8396, Mortgage Interest Credit
- Form 8582, Passive Activity Loss Limitations
- Form 8820, Orphan Drug Credit
- Form 8834, Qualified Plug-in Electric and Electric Vehicle Credit
- Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses
- Form 8844, Empowerment Zone and Renewal Community Employment Credit
- Form 8845, Indian Employment Credit
- Form 8859, District of Columbia First-Time Homebuyer Credit
- Form 8864, Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit
- Form 8874, New Markets Credits
- Form 8900, Qualified Railroad Track Maintenance Credit
- Form 8903, Domestic Production Activities Deduction
- Form 8908, Energy Efficient Home Credit
- Form 8909, Energy Efficient Appliance Credit
- Form 8910, Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit
- Form 8911, Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit
- Form 8912, Credit to Holders of Tax Credit Bonds
- Form 8923, Mine Rescue Team Training Credit
- Form 8932, Credit for Employer Differential Wage Payments
- Form 8936, Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit
If the testing of the forms goes well over the next couple of days, the IRS will start accepting these forms next week.
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