Tax changes causing a delay in filing - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tax changes causing a delay in filing

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- We are exactly 100 days from the traditional April 15 tax deadline. But this year, procrastinators can catch a bit of a break.

The deadline to file taxes is extended by three days to April 18 because of a holiday in Washington D.C. Despite that extension, millions of Americans may be forced to wait weeks to file their taxes. That's after a last minute tax change, and some lawmakers say it could have a large impact.

"It's going to slow consumer spending and hurt the economy," Senator Charles Grassley said.

The IRS has to re-program its computers and reformat tax forms. But it will only delay three specific groups of people. But does that include you?

It's a rather quiet time of year for tax supervisor Jim Liddle.

"We really start heating up come February 1. That's when people start getting their information into us," Liddle said.

And things usually get busy mid-February. He says that's when everyone starts filing their taxes. But a few weeks ago Congress passed new tax laws that will prompt delays.

"Once the President signed that into law, then was a major change in the way the IRS needed to accept tax returns," Liddle said.

Which means a setback for taxpayers in three major categories:

Those who itemize their deductions, that includes anyone who exceeds the standard deduction of $2,300 for a single person and $11,000 for a couple.

 Educators who deduct classroom supplies and expenses.

And  parents or students who claim a deduction for college tuition and fees.

"It is somewhat frustrating. We've got clients, tax payers, who want to get their information into the IRS as soon as possible. And with the delay in filing we're really not able to accomplish them," Liddle said.

But you can still get your taxes prepared. Liddle says the best way to stay on top of it is to get organized.

"So that when the IRS does say 'we're good to go, we're good to accept your tax returns' they can get it right on its way. No delays after that," Liddle said.

Liddle says the IRS expects to have the new forms available and computer system up and running by mid to late February.

Meantime, Senator Grassley told reporters this Tuesday afternoon that "it sends a message to Congress, if Congress is going to change tax law need to do it before November 5 of any year."

State income tax returns in Iowa are typically due April 30 but since that's a Saturday, they'll be due May 2. April 15 is the date to file tax extensions for Federal income tax returns. You can file that extension starting April 1st.  Federal income tax returns are now due April 18.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

Follow Lauren on Twitter.


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