Tax refunds to be delayed because of fiscal cliff deal

TULSA - Tax refunds for early filers will be delayed this year and the wrangling over the "fiscal cliff" in Congress is to blame.

Because lawmakers couldn't come to an agreement over taxes until Jan. 2, the IRS said it has to reprogram its computers and issue tax forms and instructions based on changes to tax policy.

The IRS said it will begin accepting and processing tax returns on Jan. 30, eight days later than normal.

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

As a result early filers will get their refunds at a later date.

Tax experts say most people won't be affected.

However, they say small businesses that claim certain tax credits could have a shorter filing period in March.

The IRS said it is working with the tax software industry and tax professionals to minimize delays.

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