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Liberty Tax Service is alerting consumers of another delay to the official beginning of the 2013 filing season. The Internal Revenue Service has announced it now plans to begin processing individual income tax returns on January 30, eight days later than originally targeted. The announcement means that the vast majority of tax filers — more than 120 million households — should be able to start filing tax returns starting January 30. To further complicate the situation, refunds could be delayed to mid to late February.

“This has been an epic beginning to tax season 2013,” said CEO and founder of Liberty Tax Service, John Hewitt. “I’m starting my 44th tax season looking at the worst delays in filing.  Fortunately, we have the most experienced management team of any tax preparation company and are ready to navigate these rough waters.”

Due to the last-minute tax law changes made by Congress under the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA), the IRS has scrambled to update forms and make critical programming changes to its processing systems. They also anticipate that the remaining taxpayers will be able to start filing in late February and early March because of the needed changes on the more extensive forms and processing systems. The IRS provides a full listing of the forms that are currently not being accepted on their web site: IRS.gov.

“Liberty Tax is staying in contact with the IRS to keep abreast of the release of these updated forms. And we are fully prepared to move forward and help our customers get their money as quickly as possible,” said Hewitt.

The IRS emphasizes that there is no advantage to filing on paper before January 30th. They also reiterate that taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster by e-filing their return. More than 80 percent of taxpayers filed electronically last year.