Why You Can't File Your 2010 Taxes Now

Last Updated Jan 18, 2011 1:06 PM EST

Sorry early birds, thanks to the new tax laws, some of you can't file your 2010 tax return until mid to late February.

The IRS accepts and processes about 140 million tax returns each year. Millions of folks, especially those seeking quick tax refunds, file in February.

But this year some filers won't be able to file early this year. Because Congress acted so late last year to set the new 2010 tax rules, the IRS will need more time to reprogram its computers.

The IRS says it won't accept returns until mid-February at the earliest for some filers.

Tax returns delayed are most likly those from filers who itemize and claim deductions on Schedule A. Also folks who claim popular above-the-line adjustments - deducting teachers supplies, college tuition and student loan interest - will also have to wait longer to file. The IRS says this could affect about 9 million tax filers.

This shouldn't affect your state tax return, so most folks can file these as soon as they are prepared to do so.

The IRS is encouraging taxpayers to file their taxes electronically because it allows quicker processing of tax refunds and ensures accurate tax returns. Remember that the tax filing delay for certain taxpayers is regardless of whether they file by paper or electronically.

Another thing affected by having to wait longer to file your federal tax return.....a later federal tax refund. Here's what you need to know about checking the status of your refund. While you wait you can file your state tax return now and thank Congress for dragging their feet!

  • Ray Martin

    View all articles by Ray Martin on CBS MoneyWatch»
    Ray Martin has been a practicing financial advisor since 1986, providing financial guidance and advice to individuals. He has appeared regularly as a contributor on the CBS Early Show, CBS NewsPath, as a columnist on CBS Moneywatch.com and on NBC-TV's morning newscast TODAY. He has also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and is the author of two books.