Why is Tax Season Starting Later and Later?

An interesting question was posed this morning that made me think and question it myself. That question was “why does tax season seem to begin later and later every year?” My first thought was simply the day of the week that that date range falls on, but then I pulled up the calendar. Tax season officially begins on January 22nd this year, but why? Especially when the 15th is a Tuesday the week before.  If I had to guess, with no governmental confirmation, I’d guess that it’s another attempt to curb preparer fraud. Last years pay stubs are not always the same as the W-2, and employers have until the end of January to get W2s out.  Too often we see early filers giving the last pay stub of the year to his or her preparer, who is also disregarding the tax law by allowing this (without confirming numbers with the W2), and this leaves so much room for error. For example, last year, a Detroit tax preparation office had so many early and fraudulent returns that it spurred more than normal reviews of the returns that the rest of us submitted. It caused delays in refunds due to these closer reviews. Perhaps if tax season starts later, and employers get their W-2s out earlier, we can curb some fraud by cutting down on the false and/or incorrect returns. What do you think?

Posted: September 25, 2012

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