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IRS 2010 Filing Delay For Some Taxpayers

Purpose of bulletin

To inform staff of the IRS 2010 filing delay.

Background

Taxpayers who file their 2010 tax returns early have been advised by the IRS to wait until mid to late February 2011.The delay is due to Congress' late passage of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. The delay affects both paper and electronic filers.

Affected taxpayers

Taxpayers affected by the filing delay are those claiming:

  • Itemized deductions on Schedule A. The election to deduct state and local general sales and use taxes instead of state and local income taxes was extended for 2010 and 2011.
  • The above-the-line deduction for higher education tuition and fees. This deduction of up to $4,000 of tuition and fees paid to a post-secondary institution is claimed on Form 8917, Tuition and Fees Deduction to arrive at adjusted gross income (AGI). IRS indicated no delays for taxpayers claiming education credits, including American Opportunity Tax Credit, and Lifetime Learning Credit.
  • The above-the-line deduction for kindergarten through grade 12 educators with out-of-pocket classroom expenses of up to $250.

IRS urges taxpayers to use e-file instead of paper tax forms to minimized confusion over the recent tax law changes and ensure accurate tax returns.

Filing California returns

Beginning January 3, 2011, we will accept California income tax returns on paper or e-file. Taxpayers are not required to wait until their federal return is filed, or prove they have filed. However, taxpayers will need to be able to prepare their federal return in order to properly prepare a California return. Filing a California return before the federal return may require the California return to be amended based on a final federal filing.

Some commercial software products may prevent the state return to be filed before the federal; if this occurs taxpayers must contact the software provider for assistance.

Taxpayer inquiries

The IRS will announce a specific date in the near future when it can start processing tax returns impacted by the recent law change.

Taxpayers can go to irs.ustreas.gov, or contact the IRS at 800.829.1040, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.