Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Florida News

Tax Refunds For Some Delayed: IRS Says It Was The Fiscal Cliff

TALLAHASSEE, FL - Don't plan on spending your income tax refund too quickly this year: refunds are expected to be delayed for some taxpayers. The IRS says that's a result of the last-minute fiscal cliff debate in Washington, which delayed the date returns could be accepted by about two weeks. Also, there are some tax forms that are just being released this week, particularly affecting some types of education tax credits.

Adam Rust, research director with Reinvestment Partners, a consumer advocacy group, said the delay is tough for people who are struggling financially.

Richard Beauchemin, CPA

"People who were looking to catch up on bills, they might have been thinking, 'I'll get my refund in January and I'll have enough money to catch up and pay February 1 rent,'" Rust said. "That's really not going to happen."

In past years, an income tax refund took an average of nine days to receive for people who filed electronically. This year, the IRS says, it could be as long as 21 days.

Kara Williams is a Taxpayer Assistance Coordinator for a free tax preparation site. She said hearing that their refunds are delayed or they can't file yet is a disappointment for many of her clients.

"It's a hot mess," Williams charged. "They think, 'Well the longest I'm going to have to wait is maybe a week and a half.' They're saying that taxpayers should just generally expect it to take anywhere between 10 to 20 days. "

Until this week, taxpayers eligible for the American Opportunity Credit and the American Education Credit were not able to apply for those credits because the forms had not been released by the IRS. Adding to the overall frustration is the expiration of the "payroll tax holiday" in January.

Free tax help is available to Floridians who earn less than $42,000 a year, in counties across the state. The locations can be found on IRS.gov

Links and photos added by the Observer

Image: carolinaaccounting.com

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