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IRS ready to handle some, but not all, extended tax benefits

Georgia residents who were waiting to file their 2017 income return so that they could claim a tax extender may now be able to file, depending on which tax break they intend to claim. Several tax breaks that expired in 2016 were renewed for 2017, but that didn't actually happen until early in 2018. The Internal Revenue Service told people who wished to claim any of the tax breaks to wait until it was ready to process them. The IRS is now ready to accept returns that claim any of three specific benefits, but people who wish to claim any of the others will still have to wait.

The three benefits that the IRS is now ready to process involve debt related to foreclosure, mortgage interest and a deduction for tuition and related expenses. The IRS says it reprogrammed its systems to handle these claims first because they are the most likely to be claimed by people who file early in the tax season.

People who wish to claim any of the other benefits that were extended for 2017 are advised to wait until the IRS can update its system to be able to handle them. Some of those benefits relate to the purchase of energy-efficient home products and vehicles.

Many people had already filed their returns before the benefits were retroactively extended on Feb. 9. Someone who could now claim any of the benefits but has already filed would have to file an amended return to get those tax breaks.

Many Americans are intimidated by the IRS or assume it is an entity that cannot be fought. Taxpayers have rights, including the right to challenge the IRS. When someone is informed that their taxes are going to be audited, they have a legal right to have an attorney represent them at the audit. An attorney may be able to dispute IRS claims or negotiate for a favorable resolution to the client's case.

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