Itemizing Taxpayers Must Wait to File Tax Returns

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You know how it took until the 11th hour for Congress to extend the Bush era tax cuts? One of the consequences of that late change to the tax structure was that the IRS had been preparing for the the tax cut to expire. That means that they’re not ready to process tax returns based on current tax law.

I usually tell people that they should get their tax documents in order as early as possible if they expect a refund. There’s no reason to wait until April 15th to file if you’re waiting on a refund. The average tax refund last year was over three grand… why wait until April to get your own money back?

Sadly, while you might be ready whenever you receive your W-2 and 1099s in early February, it turns out that the IRS won’t be. According to CNN Money:

The delay affects both paper and electronic filers who itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A. That includes those claiming the new Educator Expense Deduction, which credits grade school teachers for out-of-pocket expenses of up to $250.

It also includes those claiming deductions for college students, covering up to $4,000 of tuition, which is claimed on Form 8917, though the IRS said there will be no delays for those that claim other education tax credits.

It stinks but you can blame your Congressional representatives for it!

{ 12 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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12 Responses to “Itemizing Taxpayers Must Wait to File Tax Returns”

  1. cubiclegeoff says:

    And you can blame the complicated tax code.

  2. zapeta says:

    This is a recurring problem. Last year there was some other last minute fix. I wonder how much money is wasted each time the IRS has to change something at the last minute.

  3. Imani says:

    I worked for the IRS for 33 years and believe me, these “changes” cost plenty!

    Congress seriously needs to get its act together!!!

    In the end, we all pay the bill.

  4. billsnider says:

    I currently use TaxAct. They have said that the revised program will be available by Jan 6th. Lets see if they can do it.

    Bill Snider

    • cubiclegeoff says:

      Other tax preparation software will be ready, but you still will not be able to file since the IRS won’t be able to accept it. I know some software companies will hold the return and file it when the IRS is ready.

    • Shirley says:

      I have used TaxAct since 2000 and they haven’t failed me yet. 🙂

  5. That really does stink! Luckily, my wife and I set up our taxes so that we don’t give the government an interest-free loan for a year. We’ll most likely only receive a small amount of money – so, I’m not that anxious to receive it.

    • SoonerNATX says:

      ditto. i used the IRS witholding calculator. however, the design is somewhat dumb, if you will. you have to input numbers like bonuses and other variables. so if you do the calculator in May it may not be as accurate b/c of unknown variables but if you do in december, you may have enough time to collect what you have already overpaid (or you may not get a check if you were extremely underpaying).

  6. zapeta says:

    Also, I just saw that the filing deadline will be pushed back to April 18 this year because of a Washington D.C. holiday on April 15.

  7. cubiclegeoff says:

    Also, a lot of tax forms don’t come around until the beginning to mid-February as it is, so you have to wait a lot of the time anyway.

  8. eric says:

    So I’m assuming if you’re not itemizing you should be ok, but of course that still leaves a lot of people to wait in line.

  9. teresa says:

    My thing is why did congress wait the 11th hour to extend the bush era tax cut? I started doing my taxes based on my last pay stub and calling my mortgage company to get my 1098 information. Can anybody help me out there? I use Tax Act to file, is there itemized section updated with these changes already? I do blame Congress, Tax payers need their money, times are hard, I needed mine to catch up on some stuff like yesterday. So many people are out of work and will get Tax money at least for the tax year of 2010.I know I have had a heck of a year being a homeowner use to be the dream and now it is becoming a nightmare/ but some renters pay more rent mortgage..go figure. they want to hold my money and I am riding around in a car in the dead of winter with no heat, but

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