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If You Itemize, No Rush To File Your Tax Return This Year



The IRS has announced that those filing a Schedule A (about 45 million Americans that take itemized deductions), should not file until mid to late February this year. Due to end of year wrangling over tax rates by the Congress, the IRS says it will need several weeks to make the necessary changes to their computer systems.

It is likely that tax preparation services will continue to operate as usual and simply hold your return and not submit it until they receive a green light from the IRS. TurboTax has already announced that their software is ready to go, but users that file electronically will simply have their returns held until the IRS is ready to receive them.  Don't be misled about software programs making claims that by using their program you won't face this delay.  The delay is on the IRS end of things, so there is no way to expedite matters if you are itemizing. 

This also likely means that there will be delays in receiving refunds. Due to the shortened tax filing season this year, the IRS will be processing a much larger volume of returns in a much shortened timeframe. Delays on refunds are all but a certainty. If you don't itemize, you should not be affected at all by this. The word is that those not itemizing can file as usual and will face no delays.

The tax filing deadline comes a few days later than usual this year. This has nothing to do with the software programming delay, but is related to a local holiday in Washington, D.C.(Emancipation Day). You will have until midnight on April 18th to file your return or an extension.

I mentioned this tax refund delay while getting my haircut at a local salon this weekend and it was as if I had announced a death.  One element of this that I did not even think of is all of the people that use their tax refund to pay back the money they spend on credit during the holidays.  The two ladies I was discussing this with were devastated to learn that they may not see a refund until a couple of months down the road.  There may be a lot of people in this same predicament.  I guess another reason not to spend your refund before you actually get your hands on it.

Helping you make the most of God’s money!

James L. Paris
Editor-In-Chief ChristianMoney.com 
Follow Me on Twitter Twitter.com/jameslparis
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