Update April 5: The IRS has completed work on its systems and can process tax returns claiming benefits related to the Bipartisan Budget Act, enacted on Feb. 9. The budget act renewed for tax year 2017 a wide range of individual and business tax benefits that expired at the end of 2016. Many affected individual taxpayers were able to file key forms beginning Feb. 22. Work has continued on the remaining affected tax forms since then, and the IRS has now completed updating its systems for the other affected tax forms, for both individuals and businesses. Taxpayers can file as they normally would.
IR-2018-59, March 16, 2018
WASHINGTON --The Internal Revenue Service today said that it is ready to process tax year 2017 returns claiming four additional tax benefits recently renewed retroactively into law.
The Bipartisan Budget Act, enacted on Feb. 9, renewed for tax year 2017 a wide range of individual and business tax benefits that had expired at the end of 2016. The IRS has now reprogrammed its processing systems to handle returns claiming four energy-related tax incentives. As a result, taxpayers can now file 2017 returns claiming:
- Credit for nonbusiness energy property claimed on Form 5695
- Alternative motor vehicle credit claimed on Form 8910
- Credit for qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles claimed on Form 8936
- Credit for certain two-wheeled vehicles claimed on Form 8936
The IRS had already reprogrammed its processing systems to handle the three benefits most likely to be claimed on returns filed early in the tax season.
Thus, starting last month, taxpayers could also file returns claiming:
- 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, claimed on Schedule A, and
- Deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses claimed on Form 8917.
The IRS continues to work closely with tax professionals and the tax-preparation industry to ensure that their software 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 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 Extenders and Form Updates for future updates. Other impacted forms, instructions and publications that the IRS had already released, are being revised and reposted to Download Forms.
As a reminder, 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 1040-X. Amended returns cannot be filed electronically and can take up to 16 weeks to process. Visit IRS.gov for details.