Thanks to the tax battle surrounding the fiscal cliffdelay in 2013 taxes due to fiscal cliff, the IRS wasn’t completely ready for tax season on January 1. As a result, the ability to file your taxes has been pushed back to January 30, 2013.

It’s important to understand that no tax return filing will be accepted before this date. It doesn’t matter that you don’t itemize. It doesn’t matter that you are filing a 1040-EZ this year. The IRS isn’t going to accept and process your tax return until January 30, 2013.

You should also realize that there are some filers that will be delayed even further. If you are claiming certain credits, or looking to depreciate your property, you might have to file even later. Check with the IRS, or with a trusted tax professional, for more information about which delays apply to your particular tax situation.

You Can Still Prepare Your Taxes Now

Just because the IRS isn’t going to let you file your return until January 30 doesn’t mean that you can’t get started with the preparation. Indeed, you should already be preparing your taxes, getting your documentation together, and making sure you have everything you need.

Now is a great time to organize your taxes (if you haven’t already) and start preparing them. That way, you can catch any mistakes you might have made, and fix them before you file. It’s also a good time to review your situation and make sure that you are set in terms of having all the backup documentation you need, as well as the right information for your situation.

Prepare your taxes, and then file electronically on January 30, 2013, and you can get your tax refund faster. You won’t get it any faster if you file before January 30, but if you file on January 30, and do so electronically, and request direct deposit for your refund, you can get your money fairly quickly.

What If You Need Even More Time?

There are circumstances in which you might not be able to finish preparing your tax return before the April 15 deadline. If you are having trouble tracking down some documentation, or if your situation is a little more complex, you might need more time.

If your problem is one of needing more time, you can file for an extension. An extension to file provides you with extra time, allowing you until October 15. However, you should realize that you still have to pay taxes. So, if you owe money to the IRS, you will still need to pay it by April 15. You make your payment, and then file your tax return by October 15. You need to be careful with an extension, though, since the fact that you didn’t have your return filed won’t excuse you from penalties if you don’t pay the full amount by April 15.

No matter when you end up filing your tax return, now is a good time to take stock of your situation. Start looking through your tax documents now, and make sure that you are prepared for whatever comes next.