IRS to Start Accepting Itemized and Delayed Filer’s Tax Returns on February 14th

by RC on January 23, 2011

For those of you affected by the delay in the IRS’ ability to accept 2010 tax returns for those who itemize using Schedule A, are claiming the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction, or the Educator Tax Credit, and were told you had to wait until mid-February to file your taxes, the IRS is giving you an early Valentine’s Day present, so to speak.

They announced Friday that they will start accepting and processing those returns starting Monday, February 14th.

According to the IRS:

Beginning Feb. 14, the IRS will start processing both paper and e-filed returns claiming itemized deductions on Schedule A, the higher education tuition and fees deduction on Form 8917 and the educator expenses deduction. Based on filings last year, about nine million tax returns claimed any of these deductions on returns received by the IRS before Feb. 14.

For those of you who are expecting a refund and wanted to get it as quickly as possible, this at least lets you know when you can file you taxes (and have the IRS actually accept them) and gives you an idea of when you might get your refund money back- depending on how you file of course. Those who file their taxes electronically and opt for direct deposit of their refund will get their money the fastest.

Of course, if you owe the government money in the form of additional income taxes, you are probably going to wait until the last minute, with this year’s deadline for filing taxes or an extension being April 18th, so it may not really make a difference to you.

Why Do You Have to Wait Until February To File Your Taxes?

The delay in the IRS’ ability to accept tax returns for those who itemize or are claiming the other credits is due to the late year tax bracket reduction extension,  and credits and deductions being extended in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 that became law on Dec. 17. The IRS needed the additional time to reprogram their computers, I guess, and had not anticipated that those deductions would be extended, since Congress waited so long to pass the bill and only did so after President Obama threw his support behind the tax reduction extension for tax brackets and extending certain credits.

Should You File Now or  Wait Until February to File Taxes?

You can prepare your tax return now, and depending on how you file (paper or electronic) will determine what you should do. If you fill out your taxes on paper, just hold it until February 14th, and mail it in. If you are filing your taxes using an online preparer, such as Turbo TaxH&R Block at Home, or Complete Tax , they will accept your return and hold it until the IRS is ready to accept it on the 14th, and will file it for you then. So if you have everything ready (forms such as W-2, 1099′s etc.) you can go ahead and prepare your tax return now.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey January 30, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I’ll be one of those that has to wait to file, since I think I am going the itemization route this year!

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