IRS has announced that it started processing on February 14 the 2010 tax returns of certain taxpayers who had previously been advised to delay filing, namely those filing Schedule A or claiming above-the-line deductions for state and local sales tax, higher education tuition and fees, or educator expenses. The reason for the delay was to allow IRS to update its processing systems and accommodate the tax changes made by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (2010 Tax Relief Act, P.L. 111-312), which was signed into law on Dec. 17, 2010. (For more details on the delay)
IRS also urged taxpayers who haven't filed yet to use e-file with direct deposit, stating that those taxpayers who do so can receive their refunds in a matter of days. It reminded taxpayers that Free File software was available to anyone making $58,000 or less, and free online fillable forms were available to all taxpayers.
Many major software providers and paid tax preparers accepted returns from taxpayers affected by the delay before the February 14 start date, which they held and began submitting after the IRS systems opened. IRS cautioned taxpayers that, due to the expected increase in tax return volumes being transmitted this week, some may experience a brief delay in receiving their e-file acknowledgment (normally provided within 24-48 hours).
Business taxpayers who use the 1040 series can file now as well, but IRS is not yet accepting non-1040 business tax forms affected by the recent tax law changes. IRS will announce a date in the near future when it will begin processing those impacted non-1040 business tax forms.