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State, federal tax filing season begins
Wednesday is the first day New York State residents can file their 2012 income tax returns. It's also the day the Internal Revenue Service will begin accepting 2012 tax filings, eight days later than originally planned.
State tax officials said Tuesday they expect to process about 10 million forms, most of them filed online.
The deadline is April 15, to avoid penalties and interest charges. Extensions are available to those who cannot meet the deadline, officials said.
Households with an income of $57,000 or less may qualify for free tax preparation and e-filing computer software. Filing fees also could be waived. More information is available at www.tax.ny.gov.
Nationally, the later than usual start of filing season means millions of early-filing taxpayers will have to wait until February at the earliest for a refund.
The delay stems from the Jan. 2 enactment of tax law changes made to resolve the "fiscal cliff." The IRS could not write certain tax forms and tables without knowing how the law might reshape the U.S. tax code.
About 18 million U.S. taxpayers usually file tax returns in January, and 98 percent of them receive a refund, said tax preparation company H&R Block Inc., citing IRS data. These taxpayers often include low-income individuals who file returns early to get refundable tax credits.