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Late tax breaks delay 2011 filing for some taxpayers

Posted: December 30, 2010 1:50 p.m.
Updated: December 30, 2010 3:00 p.m.
 

SACRAMENTO -- Recent changes in the law require the IRS to reprogram its processing systems for three provisions that were extended in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010, which became law on Dec. 17.

Taxpayers claiming any of the following three items will need to wait to file their tax returns until tax processing systems are ready, which the IRS estimates will be in mid- to late February:

* Taxpayers claiming itemized deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A. Itemized deductions include mortgage interest, charitable deductions, medical and dental expenses, state and local taxes,and the newly extended state and local general sales tax deduction.

* Taxpayers claiming the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction. This deduction for parents and students covers up to $4,000 of tuition and fees paid to a post-secondary institution.

* 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.

The IRS will announce a specific date in the near future when it can start processing tax returns impacted by the late tax law changes. In the meantime, people in the affected categories should not submit their returns until IRS systems are ready to process the new tax law changes.

"Errors made on tax returns may delay the processing of your tax return, which may cause refunds to arrive late," said Kim Kastl, EA, president of the California Society of Enrolled Agents. "Many taxpayers can benefit from the assistance of a tax professional, such as an enrolled agent, to help them determine how to correctly file for these deductions."

CSEA has a membership of 4,200 tax professionals licensed by the Department of the Treasury to advise and represent clients specifically in matters of taxation and to help ensure that all deductions and credits are applied accurately and fairly.

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