SALEM - The Oregon Department of Revenue announced Thursday that its tax processing season will get a later start than usual this year, due to late tax law changes made by Congress to resolve the "fiscal cliff" crisis.
The Internal Revenue Service's 2013 filing season will start January 30, eight days after its originally planned kickoff date of January 22. That's when the IRS will begin processing individual income tax returns filed electronically and on paper.
Since Oregon can't start processing electronically filed returns until the IRS opens its electronic filing system, the Department of Revenue will start its 2013 filing season on the same day, said Theresa Schuh, manager of Revenue's Personal Income Tax Program.
"The amount of time it takes us to process each return will be the same. We typically don't receive very many returns in January, so we should catch up quickly," Schuh said.
The delay stems from the January 2 enactment of the American Taxpayer Relief Act. The final law required that the IRS update its forms and instructions, as well as make critical processing system adjustments.
Taxpayers can spend the time between now and the start of the tax season preparing their paperwork to help prevent delays in processing their return. Revenue recommends that people:
* Wait until you have your W2 before filing your tax return. Filing a return without including a copy of your W2 can hamper processing and delay your return.
* Find out what your bank routing numbers are, so you can use Direct Deposit for your refund.
* Make sure you have appropriate proof of expenses for all your claimed deductions and credits.
* Complete your federal tax return first, since you will need information from it for your state return.
Visit www.oregon.gov/dor to get tax forms, check the status of your refund or make tax payments, or call 1-800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish); 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon; or e-mail, email@example.com. For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), call 1-800-886-7204. Due to the amount of calls the department receives during tax season, you may experience extended waiting times.