IRS Delays Start of Tax Filing for Some Taxpayers in 2011

by Xin Lu on 29 December 2010 8 comments

2010 is coming to a close and soon we will be gathering our documents and filing taxes again. The IRS announced recently that a certain group of taxpayers will have to wait until middle to late February 2011 to turn in their tax returns.

This delay is due to the fact that the IRS had to reprogram their computer systems to comply with recent tax law changes passed on December 17th, 2010. This does not change the fact that the tax deadline is April 15th. However, the affected taxpayers should not expect to get proper refunds until the IRS systems are in sync with the latest laws.

The biggest group of taxpayers that should wait to file are those who itemize their deductions such as state and local taxes, mortgage interest, and charitable contributions. Additionally, this affects those who are taking the $4000 deduction for college tuition and fees and also teachers who are taking a $250 deduction for out of pocket classroom expenses. The majority of taxpayers will not be affected because they take the standard deduction, which is $11,400 for a married couple filing jointly and $5,700 for an individual in 2010.

Personally I always wait until at least February to file my taxes so this does not affect me much. If you are a taxpayer that want to take the deductions mentioned, then hopefully you are not expecting to pay for your holiday purchases with a refund check in January. Your refund will be delayed.

Will you be affected by this delay? When do you usually file your taxes?

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Christie

We usually have to wait until we get our w-2s anyway, and they don't come until the very last possible moment, it seems. We probably won't notice anything.

Guest's picture
Katie

Thanks for the heads-up. I was hoping to file early this year, but I guess not! I do have itemized deductions, including my mortage, so I guess I'll have to wait.

Guest's picture
Mrs H

We are a one-income household, so we only need to wait on one w-2, and our mortgage interest. As soon as the w-2's are accessible we file. Since W-2's legally must be postmarked by Jan 31 and hubby works for the state, I'm not holding my breath for an earlier availability. Guess we'll file and hope for the best.

Guest's picture
Guest

Yes I will be affected by this delay. I am in desperate need of my return and this will really hurt me. I am considering filing without my schedule A and then doing an amendment after April 15 because I can not wait until the end of February to file.

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Guest

I usually do my taxes in TurboTax ASAP, so I can file and get my refund my Valentine's Day. Except that last two years I've owed big time, to the point it is good I made an estimated payment in December. I just did that, and I'll adjust my exemptions one more time. I wish I could file sooner.

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Mary

The three examples you mentioned all apply to us, so we will wait. I usually try to finish the taxes before mid-February, since my husband and I spent the end of that month celebrating our birthdays:) We aim to get the smallest refund possible, although I didn't calculate the college tuition credit, since this will be the first year it applies for us. We thankfully have not been in the position of counting on the refund for many years. I still think it's odd that I am the queen of the tax return, when my husband is the CFO of his company and I'm math-phobic! How odd am I that I understand the tax forms and enjoy filling them out?

Guest's picture

Good to know - this will be our last year taking college tuition credit. Thank you for posting about this!

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Guest

Actually, tax returns for 2010 are due on April 18, 2011. April 16 is Emancipation Day in Washington DC, and with the 16th falling on a Saturday, the holiday will be observed on Friday, the 15th.