Punish the Prompt?

Bad news if you filed your taxes early this year; while you could typically expect an early return, this year you probably won’t see your federal or Massachusetts tax refund until after Valentine’s Day.  And, American taxpayers who claim the Higher Education Tuition and Fees deduction as well as teachers who claim the Educator Expense deduction, you’ll have to wait even longer than usual this year to see your refund.

David Snyder, a financial consultant at Snyder and Stewart PC, states that “recent legislation passed by Congress in December is putting a delay on filing certain returns, and the delayed action by Congress could result in a three-week backlog for the rest of the tax season.”  Snyder goes on to say that, “since Congress passed tax legislation late last year, the IRS is still programming their computers for the changes, and refunds will be delayed for millions of filers because of Congress’ delayed action.”

The delay will mostly affect tax payers who are not waiting until the last minute to file their returns, and who would normally receive refunds earlier.  According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, about 50 million of the 144 million Americans who file taxes, itemize deductions and would be in line for some type of refund.  Synder goes on to say that the most effective way to expedite their refund is to sign up for direct deposit so filers will not have to wait for the government to send them a check.