Millions of taxpayers forced to delay the filing of their tax returns as a result of last minute tax law changes will soon be free to complete filing their returns. While most tax software providers, including TaxSlayer.com, are currently allowing their customers to submit their tax returns they are required to hold those returns until the IRS is ready to process them. Most tax returns are still able to be filed at this time.
The IRS defines those who are currently subject to filing delays as taxpayers with returns falling into the following 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 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.
Source: IRS IR-2011-1 more info here.
All taxpayers affected by these filing restrictions will be able to file their returns normally, or complete processing of their returns currently being held, on February 14th, 2011. The IRS explained the delay as follows in IR-2011-7:
The IRS needed the extra time to update its systems to accommodate the tax law changes without disrupting other operations tied to the filing season. The delay followed the Dec. 17 enactment of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, which extended a number of expiring provisions including the state and local sales tax deduction, higher education tuition and fees deduction and educator expenses deduction.
TaxSlayer.com will automatically file those returns that are currently being held for processing on February 14th, 2011.