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Tax Law Change Delays Filing for Some Taxpayers

It’s the new year, and for many, it’s the time to start thinking about preparing our income tax returns.

And while it’s business as usual for the majority of taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service announced that certain taxpayers will need to delay filing their returns until mid to late-February if they are affected by any of the three recent changes in the tax law.

The changes are deductions that were reinstated by Congress in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 that became law on Dec. 17.

Taxpayers claiming any of these three deductions - involving the state and local sales tax deduction, higher education tuition and fees deduction, and the educator expense deduction will need to wait until the tax processing systems are ready. In addition, taxpayers who itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A will need to wait until mid- to late February to file as well.

Due to the law being changed so late in the year, the IRS needs extra time to reprogram its processing systems before they can accept returns from taxpayers claiming these deductions.

“The majority of taxpayers will be able to fill out their tax returns and file them as they normally do,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We will do everything we can to minimize the impact of recent tax law changes on other taxpayers. The IRS will work through the holidays and into the New Year to get our systems reprogrammed and ensure taxpayers have a smooth tax season.”

The IRS will announce a specific date in the near future for when they can start accepting tax returns affected by the changes. In the meantime, taxpayers can still begin to work on their returns. Just don’t submit them until the ready-date announced by the IRS.

Taxpayers who claim the following deductions will need to wait to file their returns:
  • Taxpayers claiming itemized deductions such as mortgage interest deduction, medical expenses, charitable donations, and state and local taxes on Schedule A.
  • Taxpayers claiming the Educator Expense Deduction. This deduction is for kindergarten through grade 12 educators with out-of-pocket classroom expenses of up to $250.
  • Taxpayers claiming the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction. This deduction for parents and students — covering up to $4,000 of tuition and fees paid to a post-secondary institution.
The IRS states that there will not be delays for parents and students who claim other education credits, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit.

The wait affects taxpayers whether they e-file or fie a paper return, but the IRS urged taxpayers to use e-file instead of paper tax forms to minimize confusion over the recent tax changes and ensure accurate tax returns.

Find more information at the IRS website at

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Sunday, 12 July 2020

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