Earlier on this site, we made the following announcement, “According to an IRS bulletin, about 50 million taxpayers will face an income tax filing delay this year. If you itemize your tax deductions, then you will have to wait until mid to late February in order to file your tax return.”
Now the IRS has released another news bulletin giving us the exact date when the tax filing delay will end.
When Will The Tax Filing Delay End?
According to the announcement:
The Internal Revenue Service plans a Feb. 14 start date for processing tax returns delayed by last month’s tax law changes. The IRS reminded taxpayers affected by the delay they can begin preparing their tax returns immediately because many software providers are ready now to accept these returns.
Who is Affected By The Tax Filing Delay?
Those who need to wait to file include:
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 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 that 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.
So if you itemize your taxes using Schedule A, or claim any of the credits listed above, then you are subject to the tax filing delay.
I’m Subject To The Tax Filing Delay, What Are My Options?
If you are one of the 50 million taxpayers who have to wait until February 14 in order to file your 2010 return, you do have a few options. According to the IRS:
People using e-file for these delayed forms can get a head start because many major software providers have announced they will accept these impacted returns immediately. The software providers will hold onto the returns and then electronically submit them after the IRS systems open on Feb. 14 for the delayed forms.
Taxpayers using commercial software can check with their providers for specific instructions. Those who use a paid tax preparer should check with their preparer, who also may be holding returns until the updates are complete.
I included this information regarding TurboTax when I first wrote about the income tax filing delay, but it bears repeating:
For instance, TurboTax announced in a recent blog post, that they will allow you to file your returns beginning on January 6th:
Even if you are claiming one of these deductions, don’t wait to start your return. TurboTax products are already up-to-date with all the latest forms and schedules. You can prepare your return with TurboTax and electronically file it beginning on Jan. 6.
TurboTax will securely hold your return until the IRS begins accepting returns impacted by the processing delays. TurboTax will send you an email confirmation that your return has been e-filed and accepted by the IRS.
The bad news is that even if you are able to file early, the IRS will not begin accepting returns until all of their systems are updated!
I have used TurboTax and other Intuit products in the past, and I have no problem recommending them. Of course, if you are looking for professional tax preparation, then contact us to schedule an appointment.
Also, if you are typically a procrastinator when it comes to filing taxes, then you’ll be happy to know that the tax filing deadline has been extended this year.
photo by klynslis
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