Prepare for Tax-Return Filing Delays

Organize your records and file when the IRS gives the all-clear.

Every year, millions of taxpayers file their returns before Valentine’s Day, and not because they have a lot of love for the IRS. Most early birds are anxious to receive their refund, and with good reason. The average refund for 2011 returns totaled nearly $3,000.

But increasingly, taxpayers are being forced to wait for their checks. The IRS has warned that lawmakers’ inability to agree on how to stave off sharp tax hikes and widespread spending cuts could lead to filing delays while the agency updates its forms and computer systems to reflect last-minute changes in the tax code.

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Sandra Block
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Block joined Kiplinger in June 2012 from USA Today, where she was a reporter and personal finance columnist for more than 15 years. Prior to that, she worked for the Akron Beacon-Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. In 1993, she was a Knight-Bagehot fellow in economics and business journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has a BA in communications from Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va.