Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why You Might Not Be Able To File Your Taxes Early This Year

After months of wheel-spinning and debates over the future of the Bush Tax Cuts, we finally have certainty regarding the tax code for the next two years. Unfortunately for the IRS, these decisions came in a little later than expected. As a result, it doesn't look like the IRS will be ready to start accepting tax returns for a significant percentage of taxpayers until mid-February at best.

The taxpayers primarily affected include those who:
  • Itemize their deductions through a Schedule A. This includes anyone who would like to write off Mortgage Interest, Medical Expenses, Charitable Contributions, etc.
  • Have Casualty or Theft Losses to deduct through Form 4684
  • Take a tuition and fees deduction through Form 8917
  • Take a deduction for classroom materials purchased (only applies to qualifying educators)
  • Claim the District of Columbia First-Time Homebuyer Credit

Additionally, a smaller percentage of taxpayers will be affected if they need to use any of the following forms:
  • Form 3800, General Business Credit
  • Form 5405,  First-Time Homebuyer Credit and Repayment of the Credit
  • Form 6478, Alcohol and Cellulosic Biofuel Fuels Credit
  • Form 8834, Qualified Plug-In Electric and Electric Vehicle Credit
  • Form 8910, Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit
  • Form 8936, Qualified Plug-In Electric DriveMotor Vehicle Credit

It has been estimated that roughly 1/3 of taxpayers itemize deductions. However, it is unlikely that the majority of taxpayers falling in the aforementioned categories will be ready to file early regardless, as most of the documentation required to file does not arrive until February.

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