The IRS has announced that February 14 will be the start date for taxpayers who file returns claiming itemized deductions on Schedule A, the higher education tuition and fees deduction on Form 8917, or the educator expenses deduction. (IR-2011-7) The IRS had earlier announced that due to changes made by the 2010 Tax Relief Act, those taxpayers would not be able to file until “mid- to late February.” (IR-2010-126)
The late start date affects both e-filed and paper returns. For returns not containing any of those items, e-file was open for business on January 14. (IR-2011-4)
Taxpayers may file their California returns now, provided the federal return has been completed. The state has not delayed filing for the above-mentioned taxpayers. But from a practical point of view, affected taxpayers should probably wait to file their tax returns.