Tax Squeeze

Upper-income taxpayers will feel the sting of higher rates, smaller write-offs and new taxes when they file their 2013 federal tax returns this year. And they’ll have less time to complete the annual blood-letting.

Thanks to last fall’s government shutdown, the tax-filing season is getting off to a late start on January 31, 10 days later than planned. But the usual April 15 tax-filing deadline remains, so tell your clients to start gathering their tax documents and receipts.

With increased concerns about identity theft, Mark Steber, chief tax officer of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, urges taxpayers to file their returns as soon as possible to minimize the chance that someone may use their personal data to file a fraudulent request for a tax refund. Of course, you can always request an automatic six-month extension, but you’ll still have to cough up any taxes due by April 15 or incur penalties and interest on any unpaid amount.