The Internal Revenue Service will begin processing both e-file and paper tax returns that include claims for the major “extender” provisions enacted by Congress on Feb. 3.

Those provisions include deductions for state and local sales taxes, higher education tuition and fees, and educator expenses. Any other tax returns for individuals that do not claim the extender provision can be filed as normal.

The Feb. 3 date will give the agency time to update its systems to accommodate the tax law changes without disrupting other operations tied to the tax filing season. Tax software will be updated so taxpayers can easily claim the extender provisions.

Based on 2006 filing numbers, about 930,000 tax returns claimed any of the three main extender provisions by Feb. 1. Overall, the IRS expects to process about 136 million individual tax returns this year.

Taxpayers can visit www.IRS.gov for updated information on the late legislation. Publication 600, “State and Local General Sales Tax,” is already posted on the site, and the agency is conducting a special mailing of the publication to 6 million taxpayers who have already received the 2006 Form 1040 package in the mail.

More detailed information about claiming any of the key extender provision on a paper 1040 is available at www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=165500,00.html.

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