By Marcia Richards Suelzer, Toolkit Staff Writer
If you are one of those people who like to file your tax return as soon as possible, then you'll be pleased to know that the IRS will begin accepting e-file and Free File returns on January 14 for most individual returns.
- Tip. IRS Free File provides options for free brand-name tax software or online fillable forms plus free electronic filing. Everyone can use Free File to prepare a federal tax return. Taxpayers who make $58,000 or less can choose from approximately 20 commercial software providers. There's no income limit for Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms, which also includes free e-filing.
However, because the IRS has not had time to change its processing systems to reflect the year-end tax legislation, you will need to wait to file until later in the 2011 tax season if you;
- file Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, to claim itemized deductions (such as mortgage interest, charitable deductions, medical expenses, state/local taxes or the sales tax deduction);
- file Form 8917, Tuition and Fees Deduction, to claim the higher education tuition and fees deduction. There are no delays if you claim other education credits, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which was extended last month, and the Lifetime Learning Credit; or
- claim the Educator Expense Deduction of up to $250 for out-of-pocket classroom expenses paid by kindergarten through grade 12 educators.
The IRS will announce when it can start processing tax returns that fall into one of these three categories.
Posted January 6, 2011.