The Internal Revenue Service said the upcoming tax-filing season would start on time in mid-January, except for up to 13.5 million taxpayers who will have to wait until Feb. 11 if they need to file any of five forms affected by the late enactment of a patch for the alternative minimum tax.

President Bush signed the AMT fix into law on Wednesday after congressional Democrats and Republicans finally agreed to pass a version of the bill that did not contain any offsets to make up for the loss in revenue from preventing the AMT from spreading to another 23 million taxpayers. The IRS said it would be able to begin processing returns for the vast majority of taxpayers in mid-January. But taxpayers who need to use five forms related to AMT legislation will have to wait until the IRS completes the reprogramming of its systems for the new law before they can file their returns. The IRS said that between 3 to 4 million people who use those forms traditionally file early in tax season.

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