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Millions of Americans to experience tax filing delays

by Jorge Hernandez on January 3, 2011

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that taxpayers claiming itemized deductions for 2010 may have to wait until mid-February to file their taxes due to a late start by Congress this year in issuing new tax codes and individual tax breaks.

"The majority of taxpayers will be able to fill out their tax returns and file them as they normally do," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman in a statement. "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."

The new laws in question involve the extended tax cuts President Obama signed into law on December 17. The bill will see that income tax rates stay the same and that high-income taxpayers can continue to claim itemized deductions in full.

Affected taxpayers will include those claiming deductions for state and local income taxes, mortgage interest, charitable donations, tuition up to $4,000, medical bills and out of pocket expenses for kindergarten through 12-grade teachers.

This may include 50 million people, about one-third of all taxpayers, based on the amount of people who took itemized deductions in 2010, The Wall Street Journal reports.

However, only 9 million of 140 million taxpayers filed early last year, CNN reports.

Americans typically file their tax returns in January, though this isn't the first time the legislative process has caused delays. Last minute laws slowed the process in 2007 and 2008 as well.

Those claiming standard deductions will be able to file starting January 14. Taxpayers claiming itemized deductions must wait until the IRS announces it's ready, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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