NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- On Monday, the Internal Revenue Service will begin accepting itemized tax returns, after having pushed back the process due to Congress' delay finalizing the tax code this year.
That delay -- during which the IRS reprogrammed its processing systems -- meant that if you itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A, you weren't able to file your taxes earlier than Feb. 14.
Itemized deductions include mortgage interest, charitable donations, medical expenses, along with state and local taxes.
Taxpayers were also forced to hold off if they were claiming deductions for college tuition as well as out-of-pocket expenses for teachers.
But you had the green light to file any time if you were claiming other education credits, the child tax credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit or the rest of the tax breaks available this year.
While about 50 million taxpayers itemize their deductions or claim the deductions affected by the delay, the IRS said that only about 9 million of those taxpayers actually file early enough to be affected.
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