Fiscal cliffhanger could cost you

You'll have to wait for your tax return

HOUSTON - Everyone needs to budget for financial changes in 2013.

Since politicians didn't renew the payroll tax holiday, we will all take home two percent less in our paychecks in 2013 compared to 2012.

There's another change you'll need to budget for, this time at the gas pump. AAA Texas said the deal lawmakers signed will likely mean gas prices will remain high.

But, lawmakers said that's a good thing. They said that when the economy is doing well, commodity prices rise. Gas and oil are commodities.

AAA said a slight decrease is possible if consumers spend and travel less because the demand for gas will go down.

But, there's good news about milk prices. When the senate and house signed the fiscal cliff deal, it extended the 2008 portions of the farm bill through September, which will prevent milk prices from surging.

Then there's the question of when we'll be able to file our taxes. Since lawmakers were so late in deciding who gets what exemptions, the Internal Revenue Service still has to create and print the forms you'll need to file your taxes. An IRS spokesman said President Barack Obama still hasn't signed the bill, so it's still too early to say how soon the forms will be ready.

This has happened before. In 2011, the IRS wasn't ready to process returns until Feb.14.

They're getting an even later start this year, so it could be March before they begin accepting returns.

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