IRS warns of delay in tax season for 50 million taxpayers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

IRS warns of delay in tax season for 50 million taxpayers

Neville Stein, Stein Accounting Neville Stein, Stein Accounting

By Don Logana - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -  Those who want to file their taxes early might have to wait.

Last month, Congress changed some of the tax laws, which effected existing deductions and reinstated others.

Fifty million Americans who pay their taxes could be affected. 

"One in three taxpayers fall in that category. That is significant," said Neville Stein, of Stein Accounting.

After a little holiday break, Stein is back to work and up to his neck in paperwork, reading about the delays with itemized deductions.

"It doesn't seem like a huge deal but it does affect, in general, people who itemize and want to file early. It will affect them," Stein said.

Here's a look at those deductions:

The first is for the state and local sales tax deduction.

"That was introduced a couple of years ago for people who do not pay state income tax but they can claim local sales tax," Stein said.

The next deduction affected is for higher education tuition and fees. "That's not new but for some reason in this latest shuffle, it has affected it and if you want to claim that you have to wait," he said.

Next up is educator expenses deductions. "That is $250 for any edcuator to claim for supplies, notebooks, pencils," Stein said. Based on how much you you will be getting back on a refund, Stein says some may choose to skip this deduction if it will cause a delay.

Finally, anyone who files a Form 1040 Schedule A will be asked to wait.

"That's when you take your charitable deductions, your home interest and that kind of thing," Stein said.

It seems like a huge incovenience, but Stein saidpeople would be surprised by how many procrastinating taxpayers there were last year.

"Of the 140 million who file taxes, only 9 million had filed by the end of February. I find that odd," he said.

Either way, the IRS has extended the date for filing from April 15 to April 18. "I guess, three more days of waiting around to file your taxes," Stein said.

Stein adds, the IRS should let those affected, as well as tax preparers, know when their system is up to speed and filing can begin. "That's 50 million people in this country. One-third of the taxpaying public," he said.

Right now, the IRS is telling taxpayers who do file itemized deductions the wait could be until mid to late February. For a complete list of affected deductions and even credits affected, visit http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=233449,00.html.

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