Those who qualify to file their taxes online can now do so. The IRS says many people qualify for the free e-file convenience, along with a couple of substantial tax credits.
IRS spokesman Michael Devine says tax payers who claim children as dependents can see if they qualify for earned income credit with a simple program at www.irs.gov.
For those who can’t find the assistance they need at IRS dot gov, there are Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly hotlines, as well as ten Taxpayer Assistance Centers throughout Missouri.
If you made less than $58,000 dollars in 2010, the I-R-S recommends you e-file. The I-R-S is accepiting submissions now, but spokesman Michael Devine says some tax payers in that bracket will still see a delay.
He says that applies to those who itemize deductions, claim a higher education tuition deduction, and those claiming an educator expense deduction.
Earned income tax credits for children remain at the same level as last year. Anyone who earned less than $49,000 in 2010 and have children at home might be eligible for a tax credit and a refund, Devine says.
Some people will have to wait to file their tax returns this year:
· For most people, the 2011 tax filing season starts on schedule. However, recent tax law changes mean that some people will need to wait until mid- to late-February to file their tax returns in order to give the IRS time to reprogram its processing systems.
· Taxpayers who itemize deductions using Schedule A and taxpayers impacted by three tax provisions that expired at the end of 2009 that were renewed by the recent legislation – the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 – enacted on December 17.
Those who need to wait include:
Taxpayers Claiming Itemized Deductions on Schedule A
· Itemized deductions include mortgage interest, charitable deductions, medical and dental expenses as well as state and local taxes. This includes the itemized deduction for state and local general sales taxes that was extended by the new law.
Taxpayers Claiming the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction
· This is a deduction for parents and students for up to $4,000 of tuition and fees paid to a post-secondary institution. The deduction is claimed on Form 8917. (There will be no filing delays for taxpayers claiming other education credits including the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.)
Taxpayers Claiming the Educator Expense Deduction
· This deduction is for kindergarten through grade 12 educators with out-of-pocket classroom expenses of up to $250. This deduction is claimed on Form 1040, Line 23 and Form 1040A, Line 16.
· IRS will announce a specific date in the near future when it can start processing tax returns impacted by the recent tax law changes.
Forms and publications can be downloaded from the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov 24 hours a day.
Copies of current and prior year tax forms can be ordered by calling IRS at 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). This service is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Forms are available at some local libraries and post offices.
The most commonly used forms and publications are available at local IRS offices. You can locate the IRS office closest to you on the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov or by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) are available through community-based programs. VITA provides free tax return assistance to low or moderate income taxpayers and TCE provides assistance to elderly taxpayers. Sites open in late January or early February. Check community newspapers, call or the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for VITA site locations near you. You may also call AARP-the largest TCE participant-at 1-888-227-7669 for the nearest TCE site.
If you believe your tax issue cannot be handled on-line or by phone and want in-person assistance, visit an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC). There are 10 TACs in Missouri and 3 in Kansas. To find the TAC nearest you, check www.irs.gov.
· Missouri: Chesterfield, Cape Girardeau, Earth City, Independence, Jefferson City, Joplin, Kansas City, Springfield, St. Joseph, and St. Louis.
· Kansas: Overland Park, Topeka and Wichita.
Additional Tax Changes, Credits and Deductions:
· Three popular tax breaks were extended for 2010. Several popular tax breaks were extended in recent legislation for tax year 2010. These are:
· Deduction for state and local sales taxes (in lieu of the deduction for state and local income taxes). Claim on Form 1040, Schedule A, Line 5.
· Educator Expense Deduction can be claimed on Form 1040, Line 23 or Form 1040A, Line 16. Teachers may be able to reduce their income subject to tax by up to $250 for qualified out-of-pocket expenses for the classroom.
· The tuition and fees deduction which is claimed using Form 8917 and Form 1040, Line 34 or Form 1040A, Line 19. You may be able to reduce income subject to tax by up to $4,000 in qualifying expenses.