Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Russ Fox reports in TAXABLE TALK, as other bloggers have done recently, that “Tax Season May Start In Mid-February This Year”.

Russ points out -

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

Last tax season Congress delayed the start of processing filed tax returns by waiting too long to pass the annual dreaded AMT fix (the AMT is dreaded - not the fix). This tax season we can’t even start to prepare many tax returns until late February because of Congress. What do they have against tax professionals?

To be honest – this deadline change will not really make the 2009 tax filing season any worse than past seasons. As Russ mentions, in the years since Congress allowed “qualified” dividends to be taxed at the special lower capital gains rates most brokerage firms have sent out one or more “corrected” Consolidated 1099 Statements – the final one sometimes as late as mid-March.

I do believe that several brokerage houses requested a special dispensation from the IRS to delay issued these statements until Feb 15th last year to avoid having to issue a corrected statement.

I have no idea why the software of these brokerages cannot compute the correct numbers in time to issue a correct statement the first time around by January 31st.
To be honest I would rather firms would send out an original correct 1099 statement a few weeks late than have to hold off until March to begin work on an involved 1040 because of the “wait and see” if a corrected (or another corrected) 1099 statement will arrive.

BTW – thanks Russ for the mention of my “Tradition” advice in your post “Selecting a Professional Tax Preparer”.

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