Tax Season May Start In Mid-February This Year

If you want to make an accountant unhappy all you need to do is tell him that tax season will be compressed. Funneling more work into fewer days does not brighten an accountant’s day. The IRS today officially recognized what Congress enacted last year.

The IRS announced in Notice 2009-11 that investment companies and brokerage firms will be considered in compliance with the law if they furnish their 1099s by Tuesday, February 17, 2009. That’s a postmark deadline so it’s likely that many individuals won’t receive their statements until the following week.

Congress made the change in the law last year when they passed the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008. This law extended the deadline for mailing out 1099-B’s and “consolidated reporting statements” from January 31st to February 15th. The 15th is a Sunday, the 16th is President’s Day, so the deadline this year is on the 17th.

I’m a little too harsh here, perhaps. In previous years the brokerage firms were scrambling to send out their tax forms, and it showed in the number of corrected forms they later sent that either required an amended tax return or making sure that the right set of forms were used to prepare the return.

In any case, if you don’t receive your brokerage firm’s 1099s in early February just remember that the deadline is now fifteen days later.

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