Tuesday, February 5, 2013

About 2012 Federal Taxes


February 5, 2013 8:30 am

What to Know About This Tax Filing Season

The IRS began to process personal income tax returns for most filers on January 30. If you were not in the initial onslaught of filers, here are some differences to note from last year:

Tax forms

The forms and schedules have been updated to reflect the latest tax rules, including changes made by cost-of-living adjustments and extensions of provisions that had expired in 2011. Some key numbers that are different on 2012 returns:
  • The personal and dependency exemption amount is $3,800.
  • The basic standard deduction amounts are $5,750 for singles; $8,700 for heads of households, and $11,900 for joint filers.
  • Eligibility to make Roth IRA contributions and to deduct traditional IRA contributions if you participate in your employer’s retirement plan.
The IRS is still working on updating some forms to reflect extensions of expired provisions under the American Taxpayer Relief Act. If you need to use any of these forms, such as the one for claiming the nonbusiness energy credit for adding insulation or other energy-saving items to your home, you probably won’t be able to file until late February or early March. You can find a list of these forms on the IRS site(www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/List-of-IRS-forms-that-1040-filers-can-begin-filing-in-late-February-or-into-March-2013).


As in the past, the IRS expects to issue most refunds in less than 21 days. You can track your refund using the IRS’s online tool Where’s My Refund(www.irs.gov/Refunds/Where’s-My-Refund-It’s-Quick,-Easy,-and-Secure). You can follow the progress of your refund within 24 hours after your e-file your return (or four weeks after you mailed a paper return). New for this year: The IRS will give you a personalized date on which you can expect your refund.

Identity theft issues

Identity theft continues to be a significant issue for the IRS. It’s doing its best to block identity thieves from recovering tax refunds owed to legitimate taxpayers. However, if someone uses your tax information to file, your refund may be delayed.
You may need to file Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f14039.pdf), with the IRS (the form was revised in December 2012). You may need to furnish a document (e.g., a copy of your driver’s license) to prove who you are.

Good luck

If you have questions or concerns about filing issues, check with JKLasser.com (www.jklasser.com) for answers. You can also submit a personal question to Ask JK 


and it may be selected for a response and a listing with other Ask JK responses.

Check The Numbers
$57,000. This the maximum amount of adjusted gross income you can have to use Free File, which enables you to complete your return and file it with the IRS electronically at no cost.
3. This is the number of years you have to submit a refund claim in most cases. Thus, April 15, 2013, is the deadline for filing for a refund of 2009 taxes.
$2,200. This is the average earned income tax credit claimed by eligible taxpayers last year. For 2012, the maximum credit ranges from $475 for a taxpayer with no qualifying child to $5,891 for those with 3 or more qualifying children.
3%. This is the penalty rate you'll owe on underpayments of estimated taxes for 2012

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