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Tax Filing Season Begins

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After being delayed by eight days because of Congress' debate over the so-called "fiscal cliff," the 2012 tax filing season has officially kicked off.  Taxpayers can begin filing electronically on Wednesday.

To make up for the lost time and get that refund check as soon as possible, expedite the process by getting all the necessary information ready.

"You need to gather all your income tax documents.  That's going to be your W2s, your 1099s, receipts for charitable contributions," says Kathy Pickering of H&R Block.

She says, "A great checklist is to look at your last year's return."

If you were hoping for a shortcut this year, you're out of luck.  Pickering says there haven't been many changes this year that could make filing easier.

The tax filing season was pushed back to Jan. 30 because Congress only this month passed legislation to address expired tax cuts.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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