Some Taxpayers Will Have to Wait to File

By Devin Scott Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tax law changes enacted by Congress and signed by the President in December mean the IRS will need time to reprogram its processing systems and will not be able to process certain filings until then. This will affect many taxpayers. According to the IRS website, these are the taxpayers that will have to wait till the end of February to file:

  • Taxpayers Claiming Itemized Deductions on Schedule A. This one is pretty typical and will affect many taxpayers. Itemized deductions include mortgage interest, charitable deductions, medical and dental expenses as well as state and local taxes. In addition, itemized deductions include the state and local general sales tax deduction that was also extended and which primarily benefits people living in areas without state and local income taxes. Because of late Congressional action to enact tax law changes, anyone who itemizes and files a Schedule A will need to wait to file until mid to late February.
  • Taxpayers Claiming the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction. This deduction for parents and students. covering up to $4,000 of tuition and fees paid to a post-secondary institution. is claimed on Form 8917. However, the IRS emphasized there will be no delays for millions of parents and students who claim other education credits, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit extended last month and the Lifetime Learning Credit.
  • Taxpayers Claiming the Educator Expense Deduction. This deduction is for kindergarten through grade 12 educators with out-of-pocket classroom expenses of up to $250. The educator Expense Deduction is claimed on Form 1040, Line 23 and Form 1040A, Line 16.

The IRS will announce a specific date when it can start processing these returns in the near future.

On a different note, the IRS announced January 4, 2011 that taxpayers will have until April 18th to file their tax returns. They expect to receive more than 140 million individual tax returns, most by the deadline. For this reason, the IRS reminds taxpayers that using e-file is the best way to ensure accurate tax returns and get faster refunds. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Oct. 17th to file their tax returns.

This IRS article offers more detailed information for taxpayers. 

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