Tax season starts on time for most taxpayers

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jeff Coleman
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Legal Assistance chief
The upcoming tax season beggan Jan 4. 2011, 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.

Recent changes in the tax law mean that the Internal Revenue Service will need to reprogram its processing systems for three provisions that were extended in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 that became law on Dec. 17, 2010.

People claiming any of the following; involving the state and local sales tax deduction, higher education tuition, fees deduction and educator expenses deduction; as well as those taxpayers who itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A, will need to wait to file their tax returns until tax processing systems are ready. The IRS estimates this will be in mid- to late February 2011.

The IRS will announce a specific date when it can start processing tax returns impacted by the late tax law changes.

For now, 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.

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 to these, itemized deductions include the state and local general sales tax deduction, which primarily benefits people living in areas without state and local income taxes and is claimed on Schedule A, Line 5.

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. There will be no delays for millions of parents and students who claim other education credits.

Taxpayers claiming the Educator Expense Deduction

This deduction is for kindergarten through twelfth grade 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 McConnell Tax Center will open Feb. 1. Please call 759-2488 after Jan. 23 to schedule an appointment or for questions.