Toward the end of this year, the IRS began warning Congress that last-minute changes to the tax laws could result in delays for taxpayers. Since the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 did not come into being until Dec. 17, the IRS has announced that many taxpayers will have to wait until mid-to-late February 2011 before they can their 2010 Federal returns. Anyone who needs to file Schedule A will have to wait, as will taxpayers claiming various other deductions and credits.
The delay affects those who file on paper as well as e-filers; the problem lies in the fact that the IRS needs time to update its computer systems and print new forms. Besides affecting everyone who intends to claim itemized deductions, the delay also affects students and parents who wish to take the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction. This deduction, which covers up to $4,000 of tuition and fees, is claimed on Form 8917. The delay does not affect those who wish to claim other education credits.
Taxpayers filing Form 4688 to claim losses from casualty or theft, and those claiming the District of Columbia First-Time Homebuyer Credit on Form 8859 will also need to wait to file. The IRS web site provides a list of other 2010 tax forms affected by the delays.