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Fiscal cliff averted, many would like to file taxes

Jan. 4, 2013 at 12:01 PM ET

The Internal Revenue Service said it is still figuring out what effect the last-minute fiscal cliff legislation will have on when you can file your taxes.

That’s bad news for thousands of Life Inc. readers who would like to get those tax returns filed as soon as they can.

A story this week on the possible tax filing delays that could have resulted if Congress wasn’t able to strike a fiscal cliff deal prompted many readers to express their frustration with lawmakers in Washington – and their eagerness to get the income tax ball rolling.

About half of the approximately 29,000 people who took our poll said they like to file their income taxes in January if possible.

“I file as soon as I can just because I like to get things done in a timely manner. It's a shame that (politicians) don't follow this trend,” one reader lamented.

The IRS had warned that there could be serious tax filing delays for millions of Americans if Congress couldn’t provide a “patch” for the Alternative Minimum Tax.

That’s a provision in the tax code that was designed to ensure that wealthy taxpayers have to pay at least a minimum amount of taxes. Because it was never indexed for inflation, Congress has had to provide temporary fixes over the years to ensure that lower-income taxpayers aren’t affected.

The fiscal cliff deal that President Barack Obama signed into law Wednesday resolved that long-running issue with a more permanent fix.

But the IRS still hasn’t been able to say what, if any, delays might result because Congress acted at the very last minute on a fiscal cliff deal. In a statement Thursday, the IRS said it was still reviewing the details of the legislation and would provide an update soon on when Americans could start filing their 2012 returns.

Americans don’t necessarily look forward to filing their taxes, but many seemed more frustrated with the political wrangling in Washington than with the familiar early year chore.

“This country is being ruined by 500+ people who are acting like (kindergarten) kids. We the People,” one reader complained.

Still, some readers didn’t seem too bothered by the delays, since they were planning to procrastinate anyway.

“We don't mind paying our taxes, just not a day sooner than due,” said one reader, who was planning to file taxes around April 15.

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