IRS forced to put some tax filings on hold

It didn't take long for the tax-cut compromise hammered out late last year to have some real-world consequences.

The Internal Revenue Service announced in December that it needed to reprogram some of its processing systems after a few provisions were extended during the recent lame-duck session — meaning that some taxpayers will have to wait until mid- to late February to file their returns.

Taxpayers who itemize their deductions on a Schedule A form are among those who will have to bide their time before filing. (Itemized deductions include, among other things, charitable deductions and mortgage interests.)

Filers who claim a certain deduction for tuition and other higher education fees will also have to wait, as will K-12 teachers claiming a particular deduction for classroom costs they paid out of their own pocket.

In its release, the IRS said that both paper and electronic filers would be affected by the delay and that most taxpayers would still be able to start filing this month.

"We will do everything we can to minimize the impact of recent tax law changes on other taxpayers," commissioner Douglas Shulman said in a statement.