December 24, 2010 in Nation/World

Taxpayers on hold while IRS updates

Forms, computers need changes to reflect law
Larry Margasak Associated Press
 

WASHINGTON – It will take a little longer for some taxpayers to file their 2010 returns, but it will be worth the wait for beneficiaries of a new tax law: college students, teachers and residents of states that have sales taxes but no income tax.

Thanks to a December tax package that was hailed as a forerunner of a bipartisan spirit in government, the Internal Revenue Service needs to reprogram computers.

The changes in the law that will cause delays:

• The new line on Schedule A, Itemized deductions, to allow for state and local sales tax deductions.

• The new higher education tuition and fees deduction for parents and students, covering up to $4,000 paid to a post-secondary institution. Many parents and students, however, will instead use existing education credits.

• The new expense deduction for kindergarten-through-grade 12 educators who have out-of-pocket classroom expenses of up to $250.

The IRS said Thursday that it will be mid- to late February before it can accept returns that apply for those tax breaks. However, delays will be minimal for taxpayers who already itemize deductions, because they normally have to wait for their financial documents.

“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.”

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