Most taxpayers will be able to submit their returns beginning January 14th when Electronic Filing begins. However, if you fall into any of these three categories your filing will be delayed and your tax return will not be accepted until Mid to Late February.
Taxpayers will need to wait to file if they are within any of the following three categories:
- Taxpayers claiming itemized deductions on Schedule A. 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 extended in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 enacted Dec. 17, which primarily benefits people living in areas without state and local income taxes and is claimed on Schedule A, Line 5. 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 that there will be no delays for millions of parents and students who claim other education credits, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit and 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 filing delay is due to the extended tax cuts in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 that became law on Dec. 17. These provisions were made after the IRS completed updating their software for the coming tax season and now they will need some time to re-program the system to receive these credits and deductions. If you are unsure if these provisions will effect your filing, please contact your Tax Consultant.