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Valentine's Day To Mark Start Of Tax Season For Some Oklahomans

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The IRS can start processing returns that claim itemized and education deductions on February 14, 2011. The IRS can start processing returns that claim itemized and education deductions on February 14, 2011.
Linda Garrett, area manager with Jackson Hewitt. Linda Garrett, area manager with Jackson Hewitt.
Form 8917 Form 8917

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Valentine's Day will mark the start of tax season for millions of Americans this year.

Late changes in the 2010 tax law passed in December caused the Internal Revenue Service to delay processing returns from some taxpayers until February 14th.

The announcement affects these people:

"Anyone that itemizes to claim their mortgage interest, education expenses, the educator credit, if you itemize to take unreimbursed employee expenses, your out-of-pocket medical expenses," said Linda Garrett, an area manager with Jackson Hewitt.

That means anyone who uses the Schedule A form for itemizing, Form 8917 for tuition and fees deduction or Line 23 on the regular 1040 Form for educator expenses.

If you fall into one of these categories, you don't actually have to wait for February 14th to file.

"If you do need to itemize, you can come on in now and we can get it prepared for you," Garrett said. "It will just be sitting in the inbox, so to speak, until February 14th when the IRS will accept them."

A few other changes to keep in mind:

  • Anyone claiming unemployment benefits will find that the first $2,400 is no longer tax exempt in 2011. It's all taxed now.
  • You can no longer claim your real estate tax, unless you itemize.
  • If you received the first time home buyer credit in 2008, you will start paying that money back this year.

"So if you got that credit, when you file your tax return this year, they are going to take $500 as the first repayment of that," Garrett said.

The announcement about the February 14th processing date affects about nine million people.

Anyone who does not fall into that category can file their return as soon as they have their paperwork ready.

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