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IRS to Start Processing Itemized Returns on Feb. 14

Federal filing deadline extended to April 18

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service plans a Feb. 14 start date
for processing tax returns delayed by last month’s tax law changes. The
IRS reminded taxpayers affected by the delay they can begin preparing their
tax returns immediately because many software providers are ready now to accept
these returns.

Beginning Feb. 14, the IRS will start processing both paper and e-filed returns
claiming itemized deductions on Schedule A, the higher education tuition and
fees deduction on Form 8917 and the educator expenses deduction. Based on filings
last year, about nine million tax returns claimed any of these deductions on
returns received by the IRS before Feb. 14.

People using e-file for these delayed forms can get a head start because many
major software providers have announced they will accept these impacted returns
immediately. The software providers will hold onto the returns and then electronically
submit them after the IRS systems open on Feb. 14 for the delayed forms.

Taxpayers using commercial software can check with their providers for specific
instructions. Those who use a paid tax preparer should check with their preparer,
who also may be holding returns until the updates are complete.

Most other returns, including those claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC),
education tax credits, child tax credit and other popular tax breaks, can be
filed as normal, immediately.

The IRS needed the extra time to update its systems to accommodate the tax
law changes without disrupting other operations tied to the filing season. The
delay followed the Dec. 17 enactment of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance
Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, which extended a number of expiring
provisions including the state and local sales tax deduction, higher education
tuition and fees deduction and educator expenses deduction.

Taxpayers will have until Monday, April 18 to file their 2010 tax returns and
pay any tax due because Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District
of Columbia, falls this year on Friday, April 15. By law, District of Columbia
holidays impact tax deadlines in the same way that federal holidays do; therefore,
all taxpayers will have three extra days to file this year. Taxpayers requesting
an extension will have until Oct. 17 to file their 2010 tax returns.