Fire up your tax forms: Ending a nagging delay in the 2012 tax season, the Internal Revenue Service announced it has finished updating, installing and testing new forms, instructions and other changes to its massive tax-processing systems.
That means all individual and business taxpayers can now file their 2012 federal income tax returns, including those who had to wait to claim various business and personal tax credits or deductions, such as residential energy credits.
This year, the IRS could only accept 2012 tax returns in phases, starting in late January. The delay was primarily due to last-minute "fiscal cliff" tax laws enacted by Congress, which required the IRS to scramble in getting those changes incorporated into its computers.
With less than six weeks before this year's April 15 filing deadline, the IRS is reminding taxpayers that the best way to file an accurate return is to e-file, choose direct deposit if expecting a refund and use online tax-help resources.
Those who need more time to finish their tax returns can get an automatic, six-month tax-filing extension by going to the Free File link or filing IRS Form 4868.