Steven Miller, Acting Commissioner of the IRS wrote a letter dated November 13, 2012 to select members of Congress informing them on the possible delays in processing 2012 income tax returns if the AMT patch is not enacted.
Under current law, it is estimated that 28 million additional taxpayers will pay some Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for 2012 tax returns unless the AMT patch is enacted. If the patch is passed, then only about 5 million taxpayers would be subject to the tax.
Mr. Miller explained that the IRS is ASSUMING that Congress will pass the AMT extender bill before December 31, 2012 and if so, they will be able to process returns with minimal delay. However, if Congress does not pass an extender bill or waits until sometime in 2013 to pass it, he indicates that the IRS may not be able to process any returns affecting up to 60 million taxpayers including most farmers until late March, 2013.
The extension of the AMT patch is fairly easy to program into the system since it involves changing a few numbers. If the extender is not passed, then the IRS has to completely rewrite their code to handle the new ordering rule of many tax credits for AMT purposes and this is what would take the extra time.
As we have indicated in many other posts, you may want to consider making a required estimated tax payment on January 15, 2013 and then file your return by April 15. This could save you much time and aggravation, especially in 2013.
We will keep you posted.
Paul Neiffer, CPA