Ready, aim, start firing those tax returns off to the IRS

The IRS has opened the floodgates for filing of all 2010 individual income tax returns, effective Monday, February 14. Because of delayed legislation affecting taxes at the end of 2010, the IRS needed to reprogram and test computers in order to process 2010 income tax returns properly. This reprogramming resulted in the IRS requiring taxpayers to hold off on filing certain tax returns.
 
IRS spokesman Dan Boone was quoted in the Huntsville Times as saying that the delay in filing shouldn't cause any backups at the IRS processing centers. "For every filing deadline, we get a large influx of returns at one time, so we're prepared. It should not be a problem." However, the IRS published a notice this week stating, "Due to the expected increase in tax return volumes being transmitted this week, the IRS cautioned a small number of taxpayers may experience a brief delay in receiving their e-file acknowledgement, which is normally provided within 24-48 hours." Taxpayers who file electronically and who request a direct deposit can expect their refund within 10 days. Taxpayers who file on paper returns or who don't request direct deposit will experience a longer waiting period for a refund.
 
IRS spokeswoman Peggy Riley explained in a television interview that approximately 9 million taxpayers nationwide itemize their deductions. In addition to these taxpayers who were asked to delay filing their returns this year, taxpayers claiming a deduction for higher education costs of tuition and fees, and taxpayers claiming the educator deduction for primary and secondary school teachers who purchase items for their classrooms were asked to wait.
 
Riley also reminded taxpayers that this year is the year that first time homebuyers need to start repaying the credit they received in 2008. "If you remember, the first credit was more like a loan, so you have to start paying $500 a year starting, with this return." Riley said.
 
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