The Internal Revenue Service has bad news for people who like to get their taxes done early: You may not be able to file until February.
And you can thank Congress for that.
The IRS said in a statement that because of last-minute tax law changes passed in mid-December, it will need some time to reprogram its systems to process 2010 returns.
The delay could potentially affect tens of millions of taxpayers. That’s because it includes anyone who uses a Schedule A to claim itemized deductions for things like mortgage interest, charitable donations and medical expenses.
The delay also affects people who claim certain education deductions or deduct state and local sales taxes.
The IRS is hoping to have the processing systems in place by mid- to late February, but it doesn’t yet have an exact date.
Tip of the hat to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story.
Update (and good news for procrastinators): The IRS also announced Tuesday that it is extending its tax filing deadline to April 18 because of a holiday observed in the District of Columbia.