The delay is necessary because the IRS needs time to program its systems to accommodate tax breaks included in a compromise tax bill President Obama signed last week.
The delay means millions of taxpayers will have to wait longer to get their refunds next year. Taxpayers who will have to wait until mid- to late February to file include:
• Taxpayers who claim itemized deductions on Schedule A. Itemized deductions include mortgage interest, charitable deductions, medical and dental expenses, state and local taxes.
• Taxpayers who claim a deduction for tuition and fees. This is a so-called “above-the-line” deduction, which means taxpayers don’t have to itemize to claim it.
Parents and students who claim other education credits, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit, will not have to wait to file, the IRS said, assuming they don’t itemize.
• Taxpayers who claim the educator expense deduction. This deduction, which is also an above-the-line deduction, allows teachers to deduct up to $250 in out-of-pocket costs for classroom materials.
“The majority of taxpayers will be able to fill out their tax returns and file them as they normally do,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. “We will do everything we can to minimize the impact of recent tax law changes on other taxpayers. 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.”