The IRS has announced that certain taxpayers will need to wait to file their tax returns until mid to late February of 2011. The IRS needs time to update forms and software for taxpayers who fall into any one of three categories.
a. Taxpayers claiming itemized deductions on Schedule A. Examples of such deductions include mortgage interest, charitable deductions, medical and dental expenses, and state and local taxes. Any taxpayer who plans to claim itemized deductions instead of claiming the standard deduction falls into this category.
b. Taxpayers claiming the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction. This deduction for parents and students and applies to up to $4,000 of tuition and fees paid to a post-secondary institution. The deduction is claimed separately from itemized deductions on form 8917. Individuals claiming education credits, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit, do NOT fall into this category.
c. Taxpayers claiming the Educator Expense Deduction. This deduction is for educators of kindergarten through grade 12 who paid out-of-pocket classroom expenses of up to $250. The educator expense deduction is claimed on Form 1040, Line 23, and Form 1040A, Line 16.
If you have questions about whether you fall into one of these categories, please do not hesitate to ask our VITA tax center staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.