Why the 2013 Tax Season May Give Me Lots More Gray Hair

The closing days of a tax season are always hectic; such was the case for us this year. Yet I may look back fondly at this past tax season next year. The reason has to do with the election.

If you live in a swing state (like I do) you’ve been bombarded with television advertising on the candidates. Today, President Obama reiterated that he won’t sign a bill to block the year-end tax hikes unless there are tax hikes on the wealthy. If President Obama wins reelection, he’ll end up having to negotiate with the Republican House (and possibly a Republican Senate in January).

But what happens if Mitt Romney wins? In today’s Gallup Poll, he’s up by 7 among likely voters so this definitely could happen. And what were to happen if the Republicans also win the Senate (or it ends in a 50-50 tie, to be decided by whichever party holds the Vice Presidency), also a definite possibility? Republicans would wait for President Obama to leave office and on January 21st legislation might pass extending many of the Bush tax cuts.

There’s a problem here, though: The IRS won’t be able to update their computer systems until after the legislation passes in late January. A few years ago, there was a tax season where we couldn’t file most returns until mid-February because Congress waited until mid-December to pass extender legislation. Yes, it could be mid-March before we’re able to file many tax returns. Imagining a compressed one-month “normal” tax filing season is not pleasant for a tax professional.

Unfortunately, I see this as a definite possibility. On the bright side, I’m almost completely gray already….


2 Responses to “Why the 2013 Tax Season May Give Me Lots More Gray Hair”

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  2. Donna says:

    Thanks for the head’s up, Russ! This election just got a little more interesting! I almost can’t imagine a compressed tax season. One positive side to that (if it does happen) is that there won’t be any bored tax preparers in March!