Thanks to the Lame Ducks in Congress, Millions of Filers Must Wait for IRS

50 million taxpayers must delay filing – IRS

David Goldman|CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Itemize your tax deductions? Itching for a refund? You’re going to have to wait.

The IRS said that it needs until mid- to late-February to reprogram its processing systems because Congress acted so late this year cleaning up the tax code. The bill, which includes deductions for state and local sales taxes, college tuition and teacher expenses, wasn’t signed into law until Dec. 17.

The bill ensured that the federal income tax rates would not change, and itemized deductions will continue to be allowed in full for high-income taxpayers.

As a result, the 50 million taxpayers who itemize their deductions will have to hold off for a bit before they file. Of course, not everyone files early: only about 9 million of the 140 million U.S. tax filers filed in January or February of last year.

“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 in a statement. “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 delay affects both paper and electronic filers who itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A. That includes those claiming the new Educator Expense Deduction, which credits grade school teachers for out-of-pocket expenses of up to $250.

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