2011 Tax Season Kicks Off With Filing Changes
Utica, NY (WIBX) - Tax payers are getting a few extra days this year to do their taxes but that's not all the changes the IRS is implementing.April 15th is the normal deadline for tax payers to file their taxes but due to the Emancipation holiday observed in Washington DC, the deadline was pushed to April 18th. IRS Spokesperson for New York, Dianne Besunder said there are other changes to look out for as well. She said, "As a result of the late congressional changes, certain people who have to take mandatory IRA deductions are going to be allowed to give the money to charity, up to $100,000, and not have to pay on the distribution."
She said this extension doesn't effect everyone, just those who want to go this route. She said Roth IRA's are also seeing some changes this year and said people normally have to pay taxes when they take distributions from traditional IRA's, but those who rolled over their Roth IRA's and paid the taxes up front, don't have to pay taxes on future earnings and distributions.
She said, "For people who itemized deductions in the past, if you made over a certain amount of money, a certain amount of those deductions would be phased out, but starting in 2010 they're not going to do that so people will get the benefit of their full itemized deductions even if they have high incomes." She said the only surprises people should look out for is that a small amount of the tax paying population will have to wait to file their returns.
Besunder said the tax law changes mean some people, especially those who itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A, will have to wait until mid to late February to file their tax returns. She said the reason for this is to allow the IRS time to reprogram its processing systems. After reaching an agreement with Republicans, President Obama extended the Bush era tax cuts for all Americans during the lame duck session in Congress in December 2010, and the IRS is taking the measures to comply Besunder said.
Also, Besunder said the IRS recommends that tax payers use e-file to file their taxes to ensure an accurate and fast return. Last year about 70% of all tax payers used electronic filing and 71% of New Yorkers chose this option. Besunder said a free e-filing program is available on the IRS website and those who file electronically will get a faster return.
Besunder said the program, which was phased-in last year requiring tax preparers pay a $65 fee to file their customer's taxes has not changed. She said, "What we're trying to do is make sure that people get quality services." She said tax professionals still have to register with the IRS to get a tax preparer identification number in order to file their customer's taxes. The sign-up system can be found at: www.IRS.gov/taxpros.
Besunder said the IRS can also be found on YouTube where they have a "How To" video to help tax payers. And New Yorkers can send their questions to Besunder on her Twitter account: @DiannaIRS for more information. Tax payers can also find more information about the changes at: www.IRS.gov.