You may have to wait to file your individual income tax return this year.

Thanks to congress waiting until the last minute to pass the tax bill that restored virtually all the tax rates and deductions that were scheduled to expire, the IRS will not be able to process many individual income tax returns until late February.

The returns that are affected are those with Schedule A, itemized deductions.  Also affected are returns for people claiming the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction, and the $250 educator expense deduction?  If you have a mortgage, it is likely that you itemize your deductions and you will be affected.

The IRS reports that this will affect both paper and electronically filed income tax returns.  So if you were counting on filing early to get a quick refund, you might consider sending a “thank you” note to your congressman and senator for the delay.

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