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Three Popular Tax Benefits Retroactively Renewed for 2017

Three Popular Tax Benefits Retroactively Renewed for 2017

Better late then never, as the IRS renewed 3 items that appear on many individuals tax returns for 2017. Tax returns prepared prior to the renewal will need to file an amendment to get credit for these items. Check with your tax preparer to see if you could take advantage of these, and if an amendment is needed.

  • Exclusion from gross income of discharge of qualified principal residence indebtedness (often, foreclosure-related debt forgiveness), claimed on Form 982,
  • Mortgage insurance premiums treated as qualified residence interest, generally claimed by low- and middle-income filers on Schedule A, and
  • Deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses claimed on Form 8917.

The IRS is working closely with tax professionals and the tax returns preparation industry to ensure that their available software processes can now accommodate these new provisions. As always, filing electronically and choosing direct deposit is the fastest, most accurate and most convenient way to receive a tax refund. Last year, nearly 87 percent of individual returns were filed electronically and nearly 80 percent of refunds were direct deposited.

The IRS is continuing to update its systems to handle tax returns claiming the other tax benefits extended by the new law, enacted on Feb. 9. In general, these benefits affect a smaller number of taxpayers. Taxpayers eligible for these benefits can avoid delays or possibly needing to file an amended return later, by filing after IRS systems have been updated to reflect these changes. Check IRS.gov/Extenders for future updates.

Taxpayers who have already filed their 2017 federal tax return and now wish to claim one of these renewed tax benefits can do so by filing an amended return on Form 1040X. Amended returns cannot be filed electronically and can take up to 16 weeks to process. Visit IRS.gov for details.

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