More new tax laws, continued new e-filing mandates, an expected increase in total returns, and a delay in processing are certain to mark the start of the 2007 tax filing season.Recent changes in the tax law, primarily those involving three tax deductions - for state and local sales tax, higher education tuition and fees, and educator expenses - mean that the Internal Revenue Service will not be able to process some individual returns until early February. "We will not be processing any returns, whether they are filed electronically or on paper, that contain the extended tax breaks until early February," confirmed IRS spokeswoman Nancy Mathis. "We estimate the number of returns affected by this delay is approximately 930,000 returns out of 136 million returns we expect to be filed."

However, the number of returns affected by the delay will be small, according to Mathis. She urged taxpayers to e-file, instead of using paper forms, to minimize confusion over the late changes and reduce the chance of making extender-related errors on returns.

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