What will happen if Congress passes “late” legislation extending or modifying certain tax breaks for 2012? For one thing, it is likely to delay tax refunds.
The IRS says that it typically needs at least six to eight weeks to incorporate changes into its forms and other documents. Any extension will have a ripple effect because “early birds” will have to wait to file returns. For instance, if Congress bumps up the exemption amounts for the AMT again (see page 1 article), the entire system will be backed up.
The message: Try to file early, but don’t be surprised by delays.