Because Congress took its sweet time passing the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012, which kept the country from falling off the fiscal cliff and also renewed several tax laws that apply to 2012 returns, the actual filing and processing of 1040s this year might be slowed.
But that doesn't mean we have to slow down when it comes to finding out about ways to reduce our 2012 tax bills.
The Daily Tax Tips will provide a tip a day, including Saturdays and Sundays, through the April 15 filing deadline. Some will look at ways to save on your 2012 taxes. Others will focus on moves to make this year to cut your 2013 tax bill.
Many of the tips will be courtesy of Bankrate's annual tax guide, of which I'm the chief reporter and contributing tax editor. The weekend tips will be courtesy of tax geeky me directly via Don't Mess With Taxes.
As was the case in 2011 and 2012, each day's tip will be featured in the upper right corner of the ol' blog.
And as I promised those previous two years, I will do my best to get the tip posted early in the day. But no guarantees!
I'll also collect the 2013 tips on special blog pages for each month. So if you miss a tax tip on the day it's featured on the home page or simply want a refresher, bookmark this page and come back at your leisure to check out the January list.
At the end of this January tips list you'll find links to tax tips for February, March and April 2013 as those months arrive.
So let's get this annual tax tip party started!
- 10 tax tips for 2013 -- The only constant in life is change, and that's definitely the case with taxes. That was made abundantly clear in late December 2012 and New Year's Day 2013 when the House, Senate and Obama Administration were duking it out over ways to keep us from falling off the fiscal cliff. While the legislation that emerged (American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, aka ATRA) is important, there are other things to think about this brand new tax year, 10 things in fact. They range from a delayed tax-filing season to a couple of new health care reform taxes for wealthier taxpayers (a 3.8 percentage point surtax on investment income and a 0.9 percent additional Medicare payroll tax) to needing more medical expenses before you can deduct them on Schedule A. Speaking of Obamacare-mandated changes, don't forget about the insurance premium rebate you got last fall (Is it taxable? Maybe.) or the amount your employer-provided health care is worth (It'll show up on your 2012 Form W-2, but it's not taxable income.). Then there's retirement. Be sure to pay the last half of 2010's Roth IRA conversion taxes. And while you're thinking of your nest egg, you really should consider maximizing contributions to your workplace 401(k) retirement plan. Feeling swamped already? Then hire a tax pro. And be sure to take your time. You've got until April 15 (or longer if you ask for an extension) so concentrate on getting your return right the first time. (Jan. 7, 2013)
- Get organized for the tax filing season -- Regardless of whether you file a 1040EZ or a long 1040 with a dozen schedules attached, some planning before you start filling out the forms can keep the process from being an ordeal and help ensure you pay the Internal Revenue Service as little as possible. Make sure you have all the Social Security numbers required to claim dependents and associated tax credits. Gather all your income statements, including W-2s and 1099-MISC forms. If you're self-employed, be sure you have all the receipts and documentation for business-related expenses you can claim on Schedule C. Unearned income also must be reported, so you'll need those 1099-INT, 1099-DIV and 1099-B forms. Remember, just like with income statements, the IRS gets copies of these, too. If you own a home, make sure you have the documents detailing your mortgage interest and property tax payments. Don't forget about you donations to charity. If you itemize you can claim them, but be sure you have receipts for your contributions. And to make sure you have all this info at your fingertips, set up an organization system now. (Jan. 8, 2013)
- Picking the perfect tax pro -- This is the year that you're finally going to get professional tax help. You're not alone. Each year more people turn to a tax pro. And the late-breaking fiscal cliff deal could mean an even bigger demand for professional filing help during the delayed 2013 filing season. OK, now the big question: What kind of tax pro do I need? There are tax preparation chains, Enrolled Agents, accountants and CPAs and tax attorneys. You'll also want to make sure whichever tax pro you pick is complying with new IRS oversight rules. Finally, begin looking for the perfect tax pro, or the one who's perfect for you now. The good ones fill up their tax season schedules quickly. (Jan. 9, 2013)
- Picking the proper tax form -- There are three versions of the individual tax return: Form 1040, Form 1040A and form 1040EZ. Each version has requirements that determine who gets to file it. The general rule is that you should file the simplest return for which you're eligible and which will get you the best tax result. But be careful. The desire for ease could cost you tax dollars. Each 1040 iteration determines what tax credits or tax deductions you can -- or can't -- claim. While the 1040EZ is, as its name sounds, easy, it offers only one tax credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for lower-income workers. There are more credits, such as the American Opportunity education credit, and a few above-the-line deductions on the longer 1040A. And you'll get the most chances to reduce your tax bill, both through ore adjustments to income and tax credits, as wll as claim lower capital gains tax rates on investment earnings, if you file the long Form 1040. While most of us use tax software where the computer programs do the heavy lifting of filling out our tax forms, it's worthwhile to peruse the actual documents. They'll give you an idea of what tax breaks are available. (Jan. 10, 2013)
- Filing status makes a tax difference -- What's your filing status? Most folks have no problem deciding which of the five filing statuses to use: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household or Surviving Spouse, which also is known as Qualifying Widow or Widower with Dependent Child. In most cases, you can check the same box on your tax return that you used the previous tax year. Most taxpayers can on their tax return as this did the previous filing season. But if you've had a change in your personal life, it's worth it to double check that you've chosen the appropriate tax filing status. It could make a big difference in your tax bill. A newly divorced woman, for example, is single. But since she has primary custody of the kids, she's more likely to get a better tax result -- that is, owe Uncle Sam less -- by claiming head of household. That filing status offers a larger standard deduction, $8,700 vs. $5,950 on 2012 returns, and she can shave a few more dollars off her tax bill by claiming several child-related tax breaks. So take a few minutes this filing season to review your personal and tax situations and make sure that you pick the proper tax filing status. (Jan. 11, 2013)
- 2012 and 2013 tax rates and income brackets -- Attention higher income earners: Take a good long look at your 2012 return. It will be the last one until for a while -- at least until 2017 and only then if a Republican moves into the White House -- where your top ordinary income tax rate will be 35 percent. Yes, it is officially the end of the Bush tax cuts that we have used for more than a decade. This time next tax filing season you'll be facing a top income tax rate of 39.6 percent. The 2013 income tax rates and brackets were formalized when the Internal Revenue Service issued the second part of its 2013 inflation adjustments. You probably recall that back in October 2012 the IRS announced some of the inflation tweaks (most notably for retirement plan contributions), but had to wait on the rest until Congress came up with a fiscal cliff fix. That deal, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, included the new top income tax bracket of 39.6 percent on earnings in 2013 of more than $400,000 for single taxpayers; $425,000 for head-of-household filers; and $450,000 for married joint filers. Check out the two tables in this tax tip for full rate and income range details. (Jan. 12, 2013)
- Checking out your tax preparer -- You totally agree with the National Taxpayer Advocate; the tax code is too complex. So this year you've decided to get some professional tax help. You investigated the types of tax pros, determined which one best fits your needs and now you need to thoroughly check out the guy or gal you want to hire to do your taxes. Here are some things to consider. Make sure the pro is registered. The Internal Revenue Service now tests tax preparers and once they pass, they are designated Registered Tax Return Preparers (RTRP). Check for any complaints. Find out if your prospective preparer belongs to professional organizations. Make sure he or she will be available after April 15. Avoid preparers who promise you a larger refund than other tax pros. If your returns are prepared correctly, the tax and refund numbers by all should be essentially the same. And never go with a tax pro who wants you to sign a blank return. Remember, when you sign your 1040 you the taxpayer are responsible for what's on it regardless of who fills out the return and transmits it to the IRS. So take the time to thoroughly check out your tax preparer. (Jan. 13, 2013)
- Paying estimated taxes -- Every Jan. 15 (or the next business day if that falls on a weekend or federal holiday) is the year's first tax deadline. It's the due date for the fourth estimated tax payment of the previous year. Dealing with estimated taxes Most taxpayers meet their tax obligations via payroll withholding. But when you have income that isn't subject to withholding -- anything from a side job as an independent contractor to alimony to prize money -- then you have to pay the taxes on that, too. That's where estimated taxes come into play. The IRS prefers you estimate your annual untaxed earnings and then make four equal payments throughout the year, one each on April 15, June 15, Sept. 15 and Jan. 15 of the next year. Yes, it's a pain. And yes, sometimes coming up with the estimated tax payment is a challenge. But if you have income that isn't subject to withholding, you need to get to know Form 1040-ES and send in your payments throughout the year. If you don't and you end up owing more than $1,000 then you also could face a penalty for underpayment of your taxes. (Jan. 14, 2013)
- Fiscal cliff fix winners and losers -- To keep the country and millions of taxpayers from falling off the so-called fiscal cliff, Congress finally reached an agreement on Jan. 1. The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) was signed into law the next day. Then came the fun part, figuring out who wins and who loses under the last-minute tax legislation. As far as tax rates, everyone making less than $400,000 if single or $450,000 if married and filing jointly win; the Bush-era tax rates ranging from 10 percent to 35 percent are now permanent for most of us. But high earners now face a 39.6 tax rate. Investors still get lower taxes, although again they are slightly higher for wealthier taxpayers. Families with kids, students and their parents, homeowners who must sell or are foreclosed upon and low-income workers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are among the winners. Losers include higher income taxpayers who itemize deductions; they'll lose the value of some of their Schedule A claims, as well as their personal exemption amounts. And large estates won one and lost one under ATRA. Estates of up to $5 million, indexed annually for inflation, are exempt from the federal estate tax, but the tax rate on assets of more than that will now be taxed at 40 percent instead of the previous 35 percent. (Jan. 15, 2013)
- Dependents pay off at tax time -- The cost of raising kids keeps going up, but Uncle Sam is ready to help. At tax filing time, everyone's favorite federal relative allows taxpayers with dependents to claim some tax breaks. Each child that a taxpayer can claim as a dependent immediately provides that filer an added tax exemption. This is a dollar amount, adjusted annually for inflation, that you get to subtract from your adjusted gross income. Then there are the associated tax breaks, such as the child tax credit and child and dependent care credit. And don't forget about adult family members who rely on you for support, such as a parent who can't quite make it on Social Security alone. If those kin meet IRS rules, you can claim them as dependents, too, and get the tax benefits for being a good relative. (Jan. 16, 2013)
- Standard deduction amounts for 2012 -- Taxpayers can choose each filing season to itemized deductions or claim the standard deduction. Most take the easier route of claiming the standard deduction amount. The amounts are adjusted each tax year for inflation and are easy to find, printed right on the 1040 and 1040A forms. Older taxpayers and individuals with impaired vision also get a bump in their standard deduction amounts simply by checking some boxes on Form 1040. Age and vision are counted separately for each person, so an older jointly filing couple could check up to four boxes, with the final box count is used to figure the adjusted standard deduction amount. The beauty of the deduction option is that the choice is made on an annual basis. If it's more beneficial to claim the standard deduction for three years and then claim the standard deduction for two, then do that. And reap the tax benefits of the deduction method that gives you the larger write-off amount. (Jan. 17, 2013)
- Be on the lookout for tax statements -- Tax filing is all about the paperwork. Not only do we have to fill in forms (a little later than usual this tax filing season as the Internal Revenue Service scrambles to make updates based on the late-enacted American Taxpayer Relief Act), but we also have to have the official tax statements detailing the amounts that go our returns. Most of these documents must be mailed (or emailed) to taxpayers by Jan. 31. Workers will get W-2s if they have jobs, W-2Gs if they got unemployment benefits and 1099-MISC forms for work done as self-employed business owner or for doing independent side jobs to earn a little extra on the weekends. Forms that will show up in investors' mailboxes include 1099-INT for interest earnings, 1099-DIV for dividend payments and capital gain distributions and 1099-B for transactions handled by a broker. Students will get Form 1098-T listing tuition payments and Form 1098-E showing how much student loan interest was paid last year. And retirees will get Form 1099-R is they're receiving IRA or other retirement plan payments and Form SSA-1099 if they're getting Social Security benefits, too. (Jan. 18, 2013)
- Tax filing preparation checklist -- In addition to the tax statements that are arriving this month, you'll need some other information to file your return. This tax filing preparation can help you more easily, and accurately, fill out your 1040 so that your refund will be on its way to you sooner. Among the data and material you'll need are the Social Security numbers of everyone who'll be listed on your return (you, your spouse and any dependents), marital change (marriage, separation, divorce, alimony) information, child related expenses, real estate transactions, retirement plan contributions and distributions, and state and local taxes you paid. And speaking of other taxes, dig out last year's federal and state tax returns. They can serve as a road map for your current year's return. These are just a few of the major situations in your life that affect your taxes. Yes, it is a lot to think about. And sorry that for many taxpayers it's not as simple as plugging a few numbers into your Form 1040. But if you go into filing prepared, it will make the process less frustrating and in many cases more profitable since you won't overlook tax breaks. (Jan. 19, 2013)
- Tax-free income from short-term residential rentals -- A lot of homeowners in the Washington, D.C., area are making out like bandits over the long presidential inauguration weekend. They're getting big bucks from visitors who want homier accommodations while they're in town to see Barack Obama's second swearing-in ceremony. Not only are the renters getting the cash, it's tax free. Yep, when you rent your residence for 14 days or less, you don't have to report any of the rent money as income. The good news comes directly from the Internal Revenue Service's Tax Topic 415, Renting Residential and Vacation Property: "There is a special rule if you use a dwelling as a home and rent it for fewer than 15 days. In this case, do not report any of the rental income and do not deduct any expenses as rental expenses." Beware, however, state and local rental rules. Many require homeowners to obtain permits that generate much needed fees. The lesson for would-be limited time landlords is clear. Enjoy the rental payments that are free from the Internal Revenue Service's clutches, but make sure you know and follow all state and local short-term leasing laws. And keep an eye on Congress. If the House and Senate do get around to tax reform, the tax-free short-term rental provisions could be a target. (Jan. 20, 2013)
- Alternative Minimum Tax now indexed for inflation -- In 1969 a new tax system was created to ensure that the wealthy paid at least some tax. It wasn't necessarily a bad idea, but the newly created alternative minimum tax (AMT), had a major flaw. It was not indexed for inflation. That meant that as years went by and incomes increased, more people who weren't rich still ended up paying the AMT. To determine if you must pay the AMT, you have to figure your ordinary tax bill and then calculate the AMT damage, which could be substantial because some major breaks, such as state and local income tax and property tax deductions, aren't allowed. For years (and years and years), Congress dealt with the issue of more and more middle income taxpayers being caught in the AMT trap by upping the amount of income that triggers the tax. Too often, however, Congress was very late in acting (the most recent such delay was the fiscal cliff fight at the end of 2012/start of 2013), meaning that taxpayers couldn't make timely tax moves to counter AMT effects. Such alternative tax uncertainty shouldn't be a problem any longer. As part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) enacted on Jan. 2, AMT exemption amounts are now indexed for inflation. So while it's not the elimination of the AMT, at least the automatic inflation adjustments are a big step in making it easier for filers to deal with the parallel tax. (Jan. 21, 2013)
- Make sure your kids are a tax credit to you -- All parents hope that their children will be a credit to them. That can literally be the case at tax time. The popular $1,000-per-child tax credit was made a permanent part of the tax code, thanks to the American Taxpayer Relief Act, also known as the fiscal cliff tax bill, that was enacted on Jan. 2, 2013. That's great news for parents, who find the tax credit is an easy way to reduce their tax bills dollar-for-dollar. There are no extra forms to fill out. As long as your child is 16 or younger at the end of the tax year, you just enter the $1,000 tax credit on your Form 1040 or 1040A. Some parents also might be able to get some extra tax credit money if they qualify for the Additional Child Tax Credit. Yes, it's a bit more work to compute, but it could be worth it. The additional credit is refundable, meaning you could get check back from Uncle Sam even if you don't owe any taxes. (Jan. 22, 2013)
- Don't miss the household help tax deadline -- Your new baby has certainly added a lot to your life, including a nanny to help you handle all your new parental duties. But while your new hire may make your child rearing easier, your household help has added to your tax duties. As an employer, you are responsible for paying Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes, as well as possible state taxes. Employer tax requirements apply to any domestic helper who is hired as an employee rather than a contractor. If you neglect your filing duties as an employer, the tax consequences could be costly. One of your tax housekeeping tasks in connection with your employee is the filing of Form W-2 for your employee. This is the same form that all salaried workers and wage earners get from their bosses. And the tax deadline for getting the tax statement on its way to your employee(s) is Jan. 31, unless that date falls on a weekend or federal holiday. This tax is commonly called the nanny tax, but it applies to all household workers you employ. And don't neglect it, or you could end up in the same tax trouble that short-circuited the careers of many a political appointee. (Jan. 23, 2013)
- Special IRA charitable rollover option available through Jan. 31 -- Philanthropic senior citizens get a second chance to donate to their favorite charities and have the money count toward their 2012 required minimum distributions (RMD). But they must act quickly. The option to essentially recharacterize an RMD as a charitable gift that was made in 2012 ends on Jan. 31. The reason for the short-term redo of an RMD taken last year is because Congress took so long to renew the IRA direct donation to charity option. It is part of the fiscal cliff tax bill, officially known as the American Taxpayer Relief Act, that was enacted on Jan. 2, 2013. But since last year's RMD had to be met by Dec. 31, 2012, many people went ahead and took their required retirement account withdrawals for the year. Because of this, the bill included a special provision that allows an eligible IRA owner (that's someone at least age 70½) to essentially recharacterize their 2012 RMD as a qualified charitable distribution. All they have to do is donate to charity by Jan. 31, 2013, the same amount as their RMD (or up to the $100,000 limit) made in December 2012. That way they don't have to count the RMD as taxable income. (Jan. 24, 2013)
- Watch out for the wash sale rule -- Nobody likes to own a stock that stinks. But a losing stock can be valuable at tax time because you can use the capital loss to offset capital gains or, not having any of those, up to $3,000 of ordinary income. What happens, though, if after selling a losing stock, you believe the asset will eventually rebound and you now want it back in your portfolio? If you buy it back within 30 days after the sale, the wash sale rule will force you to disallow that loss on the tax return for the year in which you sold it. Basically, the wash sale law was created to prevent the deduction of what the Internal Revenue Service calls "noneconomic losses." Essentially, in these situations, your quick repurchase of the losing stock indicates to the IRS that you believe in the investment itself but the whole purpose behind the transaction was to generate a tax loss. And don't try to circumvent the wash sale restriction by making pre-sale moves, that is, buying a stock similar to the one you're going to dump just before you do sell it. The law also says if you obtain the same or a substantially identical security 30 days before or 30 days after a sale, the loss is disallowed. So if you sold a losing stock at the end of the tax year and now want it back, watch the new year's calendar. Don't buy it or one very much like it until you've passed that 30-day mark. (Jan. 25, 2013)
- Don't put yourself in the tax penalty box -- There are lots of reasons for not filing your taxes. There also is a big reason for taking care of your delinquent tax duties ASAP: Penalties. The Internal Revenue Service can assess two different penalties, one for not filing a return and another for not paying tax you owe. The failure to file penalty is more severe. It's 5 percent of the amount of tax due for each month your return is late. This can add up after five months to the maximum penalty of 25 percent. The failure-to-pay penalty also is based on the amount of tax you owe. It's 0.5 percent for each month your tax is not paid in full, and there is no maximum for not paying your tax bill. In situations where you don't file a return and don't pay you tax liability, the IRS assesses a 4.5 percent instead of 5 percent for not filing and 0.5 percent for not paying. Sounds like you're getting a bit of a break, right? Wrong, especially if you don't take steps to resolve your taxes. The total penalty for failure-to-file and failure-to-pay can eventually add up to 47.5 percent of what you owe: 22.5 percent for late filing and 25 percent late payment of the tax owed. Then there's the interest that's added. If you insist on not filing or paying your taxes, you also could face tax liens and possible jail time. So if you're thinking of not filing your taxes, think again. (Jan. 26, 2013)
- Deducting sales tax on your new car -- If you bought a car in 2012 or in 2013 and you claim sales taxes on your Schedule A, don't forget to add the vehicle's sales tax amount to your deduction total. Taxpayers who itemize have had the choice since the 2004 tax year to choose whether to deduct income taxes or sales taxes. The sales tax option obviously benefits residents of the nine states that don't collect income tax on wages. But even if you pay state income tax, if your state's rate is low or you didn't make much money, your sales tax amount might be a better tax deduction choice. And when you make purchase a big ticket item, it could help increase your deduction amount. You can either keep all your receipts and total the sales taxes from them or you can use the average annual sales tax amount that the Internal Revenue Service provides (in tables in the Schedule A instructions) for each state. Even if you use the tables, you can add the big ticket tax amounts to the table tally. Purchases that qualify for addition to the tables are vehicles (car, truck, motorcycle, motorhome), boats, airplanes and a mobile home, prefab house or material to build or substantially renovate your residence. The instructions for Schedule A contain a worksheet to figure your sales tax deduction when you have a major purchase to include. You'll want to add your local sales taxes here, too. If you use tax software, that program will take care of calculation. Or you can use the IRS' online sales tax deduction calculator. (Jan. 27, 2013)
- Getting the most from tax software -- Filing taxes is almost as bad as paying them. That's why so many of us who do our own returns are getting help from tax preparation software. If you're just now joining the computer tax prep parade, here are a few tips to make sure you pick the tax software that fits your tax needs as well as your budget. Are your taxes relatively simple or do you have a lot of tax issues to take into account, such as a freelance job on the side, investments or dependents and their associated tax issues? If you're not exactly sure how these could add to or help cut your tax bill, then look for a program that will walk you through the process. If, however, you're an old hand at tax filing but want the software calculators that double-check your math, look for a package where you can easily skip over sections and file at your own pace. Also look into online tax prep options. Here you don't have to buy and install the software on your own computer. Or, even better, find out whether you can use IRS' Free File program, which kicks off the 2013 filing season on Jan. 30 and which will be available through the Oct. 15 extended filing deadline. The major tax software manufacturers are participating, giving eligible taxpayers a very cost-effective tax software option. (Jan. 28, 2013)
- A look at tax e-filing options -- Almost 120 million people electronically filed their tax returns last year. If this season goes as the past several have, even more will e-file in 2013. If you haven't yet joined the digital tax return parade, you have several options. If you use a tax professional, he or she will likely e-file your return. Since the 2012 filing season, the Internal Revenue Service has required tax return preparers to use e-file if they anticipate preparing and filing 11 or more 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ and 1041 forms during a calendar year (with a few exceptions). If you do your own taxes by using tax software, either by buying and downloading the package onto your own computer or via the software company's online program, you'll be offered the option to e-file when you finish filling in your forms. And if your adjusted gross income is $57,000 or less, you also can prepare your taxes and e-file the forms at no cost by using the IRS' Free File program, which kicked off the 2013 filing season on Jan. 30. So whether you're part of the early tax season e-filing wave so you can get your refund more quickly or will be among the group of taxpayers who wait until just before the tax deadline to hit the "enter" key, find the electronic filing option that works best for you. (Jan. 29, 2013)
- E-file, Free File is now open -- Taxpayers started filing their returns on Jan. 30, about a week later than usual. The start of the 2013 filing season was delayed because Congress waited until Jan. 1 to approve the American Tax Relief Act, which includes many provisions affecting 2012 tax returns. That meant the IRS needed time to get most (but not all) tax forms and instructions updated and its computers reprogrammed. Taxpayers can make up for the lost time by e-filing. Last year, nearly 100 million taxpayers sent in their returns electronically. Since its introduction in 1990, more than 1 billion returns have been e-filed. The reason for the method's popularity? Returns are processed more quickly, meaning refunds are sent out sooner. (Jan. 30, 2013)
- What to do if you don't get a W-2 -- In order to file your tax return, you you’re your W-2. Employers are required to send out earnings statements by Jan. 31 (or the next business day if that falls on a weekend or federal holiday), so allow a few days after the end of the month for it to show up. But if mid-February rolls around and you're still waiting on this tax statement, there are some steps you can take. First, check with your payroll office. If it's lost, you should be able to get a duplicate. But if that doesn't work, dig out your tax year's final pay stub and download Form 4852. This is a substitute form in which you plug in, using your pay stub info, as much as you can to recreate your missing W-2. The attached instructions will walk you through the process. If you need more help, call the IRS (toll-free 1-800-829-1040) and the agency will contact the employer or payer for you and request the missing tax statement. And if that still doesn't produce the missing W-2, you can use the Form 4852 to file. Using the substitute annual wage statement, however, will probably slow down processing of your return. (Jan. 31, 2013)
January's gone, but the 2013 tax filing season continues: