According to the IRS, some 50 million Americans will have to wait to file their 2010 tax return until Feb 14th (updated). If you are someone who usually waits until the deadline in April to file your return, no big deal, but for those that are early birds or who had planned to file early because they needed the cash, you are out of luck.
Why the delay? The IRS is not ready to process some returns due to Congress not passing the final tax code until late in December of last year. The late passed bill offered new deductions that need to be updated in the IRS system and include deductions for both local and state taxes as well as deductions for teacher expenses and college tuition fees. Here is the low down on who needs to wait.
Taxpayers Who Claim Deductions On IRS Form 1040 Schedule A
If you itemize your deduction on Form 1040 Schedule A you are amongst those who need to wait. This form is used for common deductions like mortgage interest, dental and medical expenses, charitable contribution deductions as well as state and local taxes and more. Additionally, those taking advantage of the extended tax relief credit under the, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act will need to itemize and claim their deduction on this form. These were changes that came with the December congressional bill, which in turn is delaying tax returns for all who need to file this form.
Taxpayers Who Are Educators Claiming The Educator Expense Deduction
For those who teach in grades K-12 you can now claim up to $250.00 of out of pocket classroom expenses each year. In order to do so you can claim your deduction, depending on how you file, on either Form 1040 or Form 1040A.
Taxpayers Who Will Claim The Higher Education Tuition And Fees Deduction
This deduction is for either parents or students and will allow a deduction of up to 4,000 in a combination of tuition and fees that were paid during 2010 to a post secondary institution. This deduction will need to be claimed on IRS form 8917. It is important not to confuse this tax credit with other education credits that are not delayed including the Life Long Learning Credit as well as the American Opportunity Tax Credit.
There is no problem with taxpayers working on and preparing their return as they await a final date for them to file. The IRS however, has asked all filers who fit into the delayed status to please hold onto prepared returns until they are given the go ahead to file. Whether you are filing by paper or electronically makes no difference. You still need to wait.
In conclusion, remember that there are still millions of American who will not be affected in the delay. If you are still unsure, check with your tax preparer to find out if you can file now or if you need to wait.