Holding Your Breath, Waiting for New Tax Laws

For you, tax season is probably over.

You’re getting geared up for next season, installing new software, cleaning up your files.

But your tax software doesn’t work, does it? It can’t. The new laws haven’t passed yet.

For my friends developing tax software for next year, now is their tax season.

For me, as a journalist, it has been really painful watching the process of not making laws. I’ve been wanting to file a MarketWatch article for two weeks. I’ve been holding off, hoping to have the extenders and any new provisions passed before I finished the article. For a few moments on Wednesday, my hopes were high. After all, the President himself had arranged for a compromise with the opposing party. Who knew his own party would dig in its heels and refuse to pass any tax law at all? The article is due today, final deadline. I’ll have to finish up an otherwise interesting piece…with a lot still up in the air.

But my problem is minor compared to these folks.  Can you even imagine what it’s like in development dens at places like ProSeries, ProSystems fx, Lacerte, Drake, Tax Wise, Crosslink, ATX, etc.? What do you think they’re doing, developing multiple sets of computations for each version of the proposed tax law?

Let’s face it, while we’ve had years, in the past, when a few key laws needed to be passed. This year, there are enough things up in the air that it severely impacts the entire tax computation structure.

Personally, I will not be touching a 2010 income tax return before late February. After all, not only do the software houses need to write new software; IRS will need to revise several forms. I want to make sure all the software works correctly before my first efile.

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Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of TaxMama.com, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.

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