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Will There Be A Delay In Filing?

December 29, 2010

On December 24, 2010 the I.R.S. issued a statement that said taxpayers who itemize in their federal returns will have to wait until at least mid-February to file. The delay is necessary because the IRS needs more time to program its systems to accommodate tax breaks included in a compromise tax bill President Obama signed last week. The delay means millions of taxpayers will have to wait longer to get their refunds next year. Taxpayers who will have to wait to file include:

  • Taxpayers who claim itemized deductions on Schedule A. Itemized deductions include mortgage interest, charitable deductions, medical and dental expenses, state and local taxes.
  • Taxpayers who claim a deduction for tuition and fees. This is a so-called “above-the-line” deduction, which means taxpayers don’t have to itemize to claim it.
  • Parents and students who claim other Education Credits, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit, will not have to wait to file, The IRS said, assuming they don’t itemize.
  • The same with taxpayers who claim the Educator Expense Deduction. This deduction, which is also an above-the-line deduction, allows teachers to deduct up to $250 in out-of-pocket costs for classroom materials.

This late start to the filing season will affect an estimated one-third of U.S. taxpayers who itemize their deductions, rather than claim the standard deduction which for 2010 is $11,400 for a married couple filing jointly and $5,700 for individuals. According to the IRS data for 2008. 33.8% of individual returns, or 48.2 million, included itemized deductions. The changes don’t affect the April 15th deadline for filing tax returns (which is actually April 18th because of a holiday).

I always recommend for clients to come in as early as possible as we can hold the information until we get the go ahead to file. The earlier you are ready the sooner you do get your refunds. Give us a call at 212-979-6830 or stop by for a visit as Gunwel ( is ready to help you with all of your tax needs. See you soon!

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