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IRS sets Jan. 30 tax season opening for 1040 filers

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The January tax law changes Congress made under the American Taxpayer Relief Act has changed a few things for this year's tax season.

The Internal Revenue Service announced Jan. 8 that it would open the 2013 filing season and begin processing individual income tax returns Jan. 30.

The IRS has been updating forms and completing the programming and testing of its processing systems to reflect the bulk of the late tax law changes that were enacted Jan. 2.

According to the IRS, the vast majority of tax filers – more than 2 million households – should be able to start filing tax returns Jan. 30.

The remaining households will be able to start filing in late February or March because of the more extensive form and processing systems changes that are necessary. According to the IRS, that group includes people who claim residential energy credits, depreciation of property or general business credits, and those tax returns are usually more complex, so they are typically filed closer to the April 15 deadline, or filers request extensions.

"We have worked hard to open tax season as soon as possible," IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller said in a news release. "This date ensures we have the time we need to update and test our processing systems."

Miller also reiterated that taxpayers' best option is to file electronically for faster refunds, and there is no advantage to filing on paper before the Jan. 30 opening date.

More than 80 percent of taxpayers filed electronically last year, according to the IRS.