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Feb. 3: Tax day for the IRS

Some of you might have already filed your 2006 tax returns.

Many more are just waiting for Friday, Jan. 12, to get here so you can hit "enter" on your keyboards. That's when the IRS starts accepting e-filings.

And a good number of you will send in your forms, snail or e-mail, as soon as you have in hand your last tax puzzle piece, a W-2.

Taxrefundcheck_2_3 It's a good bet that the common motivator for all you eager filers is a tax refund. The sooner you get your return in, the sooner you'll get your tax cash back, right? Maybe. But maybe not this filing season.

In fact, some of you might discover that all your early tax work is for naught since the IRS has announced that it won't start processing some 1040s until Feb. 3.

What the ...?

Remember those expired tax breaks, known as extenders, that didn't make it back into the tax code until late December (if not, or you want a refresher, details here)? Well, as noted in this previous posting, in addition to complicating the actual filing lives of individuals, the last-minute legislation is going to slow down processing of any early returns on which they are claimed.

The IRS has now established the specific delay date. In this announcement, the agency says it will not start working on 1040s that include deductions for state and local sales taxes, educator out-of-pocket classroom expenses and higher education tuition and fees until Feb. 3.

It will take until then, according to the IRS, for the agency "to update its systems to accommodate the tax law changes without disrupting other operations tied to the tax filing season." Memo to Intuit: 2008 new product specifically for 1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W. -- TurboGov.

If you don't take any of the late-addition deductions, you're OK. The IRS says returns without the extender tax breaks will be processed as normal in January. 

“The vast majority of taxpayers will not be affected by these changes, and they will not notice any difference as they start filing tax returns this month,” IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson said in the release.

True, if filing stats from previous years hold up this time, fewer than 1 million filers will make these claims early in the filing season. But if you're one of them, then "one in a million" will definitely not be a welcome phrase.


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