Taxpayers can claim sales deduction Feb. 14

Taxpayers in Washington claiming a deduction for state sales tax can start filing their returns Feb. 14.

The Internal Revenue Service said that's the first day it will be ready to process those returns.

The Feb. 14 date also applies to returns claiming the higher education tuition and fees deduction and the educator expenses deduction.

Because tax law changes were enacted by Congress and signed by President Obama in December, the IRS needed time to reprogram its processing system for paper and e-filed returns.

Some tax software providers will allow taxpayers to file earlier and then will hold onto the returns and then submit them to the IRS on Feb. 14.