(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – If each year you are an ‘early bird’ and complete and file your taxes as soon as legally possible, listen up! The ‘fiscal cliff’ fiasco is having a trickle down effect and the Internal Revenue Service has postponed the start of tax filing season.

As it stands the IRS won’t begin processing 2012 tax returns until January 30, 2013. For procrastinators – that’s an eight-day delay.

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While Congress didn’t enact the fiscal cliff tax bill until January 2, a huge chunk of the items it contains are retroactive. This has left IRS workers scrambling to revise forms and instructions.

According to the IRS, some 18 million U.S. taxpayers file their returns in January. Unfortunately, most of those are low-income Americans who are eligible for the earned income tax credit and planned to use refund checks for day-to-day living and to pay bills.

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The less than two-week delay is applicable to the majority of tax filers, but for those claiming general business, residential and property depreciation credits, the wait will be longer. Officials with the IRS say it could be as late as February or March before the agency has forms and systems ready for those taxpayers.

The delay in tax processing is certain but the IRS says so is the deadline. While the tax-filing season has been pushed back, the filing deadline hasn’t. Unless you file an extension, all tax forms are due by April 15.

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