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!