Now that the Federal government shutdown is over, the IRS is back to work, and has come out with a few things to be aware of for the upcoming filing season.
First, the IRS announced that the start of filing season will be delayed by 2 weeks due to the shutdown. The time the service was shutdown delayed the programming and testing of its computer systems so the IRS will begin accepting individual tax returns between January 28th and February 4th. There has been no word on any delays for corporate tax returns.
Also, there are a number of tax deductions and credits that are set to expire at the end of 2013. These items will apply to 2013 tax returns, but will be unavailable for future returns.
- Option to deduct sales tax instead of state income taxes paid, which mostly effects those in states with no income tax.
- Deduction for tuition and fees of either $2,000 or $4,000. Many taxpayers pass on this item and instead get a better deal by taking one of the credits for college tuition, which will stay in place.
- Exclusion of cancelled mortgage debt from income. This applies to people facing foreclosure on their primary residence.
- The ability to deduct mortgage insurance premiums.
As 2013 draws to a close and we move through 2014, we may see some or all of these items extended by Congress.