Delayed Start to Tax Filing Season for Those Affected by Late Tax Breaks

Taxpayers affected by three recently reinstated deductions need to wait until mid- to late February to file their individual tax returns, allowing the IRS time to reprogram its processing systems.

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Following the December 17, 2010, enactment of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, the Internal Revenue Service announced the upcoming tax season will start on time for most people, but taxpayers affected by three recently reinstated deductions need to wait until mid- to late February to file their individual tax returns, allowing the IRS time to reprogram its processing systems.

“The majority of taxpayers will be able to fill out their tax returns and file them as they normally do,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We will do everything we can to minimize the impact of recent tax law changes on other taxpayers.  The IRS will work through the holidays and into the New Year to get our systems reprogrammed and ensure taxpayers have a smooth tax season.”

The IRS will announce a specific date in the near future when it can start processing tax returns impacted by the late tax law changes.  In the interim, people in the affected categories can start working on their tax returns, but they should not submit their returns until IRS systems are ready to process the new tax law changes.  The delay affects both paper filers and electronic filers.

Taxpayers will need to wait to file if they are within any of the following three categories:

  1. Taxpayers claiming itemized deductions on Schedule A.
  2. Taxpayers claiming the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction.
  3. Taxpayers claiming the Educator Expense Deduction.

As part of this effort, the IRS will be working closely with the tax software industry and tax professional community to minimize delays and ensure a smooth tax season.

Updated information will be posted on IRS.gov.  This will include an updated copy of Schedule A as well as updated state and local sales tax tables.  Several other forms used by relatively few taxpayers are also affected by the recent changes, and more details are available on IRS.gov.

IR-2010-126, Dec. 23, 2010