Tax season 2013 is here, time to file 2012 taxes -- what you need to know

Tips for filing your tax return

TAMPA - The first thing you want to do is dig out your 2011 return.  You can use it as a helpful guide, since congress did not re-invent the tax code for 2012.

The IRS moved the first day of filing season from Jan. 22 to Jan. 30, whether you file electronically or by mail.  You can thank congress for the delay in dealing with the fiscal cliff.

Clearwater CPA Charles O'Donnell says for all the wrangling in Washington, not a lot changed from 2011 to 2012.

You can still deduct the sales tax on major purchases, like a car or boat, and taxpayers who financially support an adult child or other blood relative can still claim that person as a dependent.

Mortgage interest remains fair game if the debt is under $1 million, and forgiven or canceled mortgage balances are not taxable.

The biggest tax-filing mistake O'Donnell sees among his clients is underreported income.

Something else that catches the attention of the IRS is larger than normal deductions for a taxpayer's salary range.

The IRS hired 1,800 more auditors in the last two years, which will likely mean more audits for individuals and small businesses alike.

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