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Jan 30, 2013 11:09 PM by Erin Steuber

Tax Season is Here, but it May Take Longer than Expected to Get a Refund

Tax season is here. Starting today, the IRS is accepting electronic returns, but you may not be getting your money as soon as you hoped.

By tomorrow, January 30th, you should, by law, have your W-2's, and other forms needed to file your taxes. But the next date is nearly a month off, February 26th, that's the earliest you'll see a return, and here's why.

Filing taxes, a sometimes stressful process, made easier with electronic filing. But with convenience comes the risk for fraud.

"The Department of Revenue is taking an active approach to try to eliminate fraud in processing tax returns," said CPA John Redd. "It doesn't happen often, or often in the pas,t but if it happens to you, it's major."

Because new software is being used to help crack down on fraud, refunds won't be processed until February 15th, refunds in the mail even later.

"So you won't see Louisiana refunds come out until about the 25th of the month," said Redd.

If a return is flagged questionable, taxpayers will be directed to an online test, or telephone survey to verify their identity. But there are other delays in store this tax season.

"The IRS issued a notice today stating that the filing season will be delayed for those filing education credits. They won't be able to accept those until about the middle of February," said Redd. "And business returns, where depreciation and other expenses are taken, may not be accepted until the end of February."

Nearly 23,000 cases of tax fraud were discovered in Louisiana last year.

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