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IRS considering delaying start
of 2008 tax-filing season

The 2008 filing season is six weeks away. Maybe.

The IRS is considering not processing all early returns if Congress doesn't resolved the alternative minimum tax (AMT) issue soon. That would mean that early filers, all those folks who want to get their 1040s in ASAP because they are due refunds, would end up waiting a few extra weeks for their tax cash.

That's word from Richard Spires, the deputy IRS commissioner for operations support, in an interview with the Associated Press.

"We are worried that if we allow certain filers to file that it does not cause a lot of confusion and delay the whole filing system for everyone," Spires told the wire service.

As blogged about previously here, Congress swears it will take care of the AMT, as well extend several tax breaks that expire at the end of the year. Really. Trust us.

Yeah, right. The check is in the mail. And I'll still love you in the morning.

The IRS isn't buying it either. It has done the basic design work on the AMT form (Form 6251; here's the 2006 version) and 11 others documents involving other tax issues that Congress still has to finalize. But the agency has postponed sending the documents to the printer.

Oversight group chimes in: Meanwhile, the IRS Oversight Board has joined the ever-growing AMT action chorus.

In a letter to leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, the group urged quick action on the temporary AMT patch. The House in early November passed a fix; the Senate has yet to consider it.

Continued dallying, says the Oversight Board, "threatens the IRS's ability to process returns and issue refunds in a timely manner and imposes significant burden on taxpayers." Just how big a burden is shown in the table below.


The 2008 filing season is scheduled to begin Jan. 14, 2008. The Board estimated that a two-week delay in the start of the filing season could delay the processing of 6.7 million returns and $17 billion in refunds.

Another three-week delay, to Feb. 18, 2008, could delay a total of 37.7 million returns and $87.7 million in refunds.

You can read the Oversight Board's issue paper from which these figures were taken here.


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i dont understand either the state and federal gov is just taking our money i'm still waiting on mine it was delayed this year for a reason that was not told to me when i called. i think we'd be better of letting robots do our taxes and cut our checks cause people steal and i think they are trying to see what they can get away with it sad how low the united states is becomming greedy people run this place i am going to start my own business and keep everyone else out of it so i can have and save me and my family money


I used a software to prepare my taxes. I filed my taxes early, the IRS accepted them on Jan. 22, 2009. The IRS originally said I would receive my refund on Jan. 30th, they then changed my refund date to Feb. 24th, then when I checked the "Where's My Refund," website again on Feb. 16th to make sure there were no more changes, it gave my a reference number to use and to call the IRS. I called and they said my refund had been randomly selected for review of my Child Tax Credit and that if I did not receive my refund or a letter of a problem in two weeks, to call back and check with them. I called back in two weeks, on March 2 and they said I should have received a letter dated Feb. 23rd that said if I haven't received further contact or my refund in three more weeks then contact them. I then received a letter DATED March 2, that said that they are conducting a more thorough review of my taxes and I will either receive my refund in three more weeks or further contact from the IRS. Has anyone else had this problem? I have a straight forward return and there should not be any problems. I don't understand what is happening.

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